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The Russian Empire, . commonly referred to as Imperial Russia, was a historical
empire An empire is a "political unit" made up of several territories and peoples, "usually created by conquest, and divided between a dominant center and subordinate peripheries". Narrowly defined, an empire is a sovereign state called an empire and w ...

empire
that extended across
Eurasia Eurasia () is the largest continent A continent is any of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rather than any strict criteria, up to seven geographical regions are commonly regarded as cont ...

Eurasia
and
North America North America is a continent A continent is any of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rather than any strict criteria, up to seven geographical regions are commonly regarded as continen ...

North America
from 1721, succeeding the
Tsardom of Russia The Tsardom of Russia or Tsardom of Rus' (russian: Русское царство, translit=Russkoye tsarstvo, later changed to: ), also externally referenced as the Tsardom of Muscovy, was the centralized Russian state from the assumption of the ...
following the
Treaty of Nystad The Treaty of Nystad (russian: Ништадтский мир; fi, Uudenkaupungin rauha; sv, Freden i Nystad; et, Uusikaupunki rahu) was the last peace treaty of the Great Northern War of 1700–1721. It was concluded between the Tsardom of R ...

Treaty of Nystad
that ended the
Great Northern War The Great Northern War (1700–1721) was a conflict in which a coalition led by the Tsardom of Russia The Tsardom of Russia or Tsardom of Rus' (russian: Русское царство, ''Russkoye tsarstvo''; later changed to: , ''Rossiyskoy ...

Great Northern War
. The Empire lasted until the
Republic A republic () is a form of government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a month ...
was proclaimed by the
Provisional Government A provisional government, also called an interim government, an emergency government, or a transitional government, is an emergency government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a S ...
that took power after the
February Revolution The February Revolution ( rus, Февра́льская револю́ция, p=fʲɪvˈralʲskəjə rʲɪvɐˈlʲutsɨjə, tr. ), known in Soviet historiography Soviet historiography is the methodology of history History (from Greek , ' ...
of 1917. The third-largest empire in history, at one point stretching over three continents—Europe, Asia, and North America—the Russian Empire was surpassed in size only by the
British British may refer to: Peoples, culture, and language * British people, nationals or natives of the United Kingdom, British Overseas Territories, and Crown Dependencies. ** Britishness, the British identity and common culture * British English, ...

British
and
Mongol empire The Mongol Empire of the 13th and 14th centuries was the List of largest empires, largest contiguous land empire in history and the second largest empire by landmass, second only to the British Empire. Originating in Mongolia in East Asia, the ...
s. The rise of the Russian Empire coincided with the decline of neighboring rival powers: the
Swedish Empire The Swedish Empire was a European great power that exercised territorial control over much of the Baltic region The terms Baltic Sea Region, Baltic Rim countries (or simply Baltic Rim), and the Baltic Sea countries/states refer to slightly ...

Swedish Empire
, the
Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth The Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, formally known as the Kingdom of Poland and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, and, after 1791, the Commonwealth of Poland, was a country and bi-federation A federation (also known as a federal state) is ...
, the
Ottoman Empire The Ottoman Empire (; ', ; or '; )info page on bookat Martin Luther University) // CITED: p. 36 (PDF p. 38/338). was an empire that controlled much of Southeastern Europe, Western Asia, and North Africa, Northern Africa between the 14th a ...
,
Persia Iran ( fa, ایران ), also called Persia, and officially the Islamic Republic of Iran, is a country in . It is bordered to the northwest by and , to the north by the , to the northeast by , to the east by , to the southeast by , t ...
, and
Qing China The Qing dynasty, officially the Great Qing (), was the last dynasty A dynasty (, ) is a sequence of rulers from the same family,''Oxford English Dictionary'', "dynasty, ''n''." Oxford University Press Oxford University Pre ...
. By 1914, the Russian Empire spanned 22,800,000 square kilometers, with a populaion of over 175 million people, roughly 9% of the world's population at the time, and remained one of the
great European powers
great European powers
until the beginning of the
First World War World War I, often abbreviated as WWI or WW1, also known as the First World War or the Great War, was a global war A world war is "a war War is an intense armed conflict between states State may refer to: Arts, entertainmen ...
. From the 10th through the 17th centuries, the land was ruled by a noble class, the
boyar A boyar or bolyar was a member of the highest rank of the feudal Feudalism, also known as the feudal system, was a combination of the legal, economic, military, and cultural customs that flourished in Medieval Europe between the 9th and 15th ...
s, above whom was a
tsar , by Ivan Makarov Tsar ( or ), also spelled ''czar'', ''tzar'', or ''csar'', is a Royal and noble ranks, title used to designate East and South Slavic monarch A monarch is a head of stateWebster's II New College DictionarMonarch Houghton Mi ...

tsar
, who later became an
emperor An emperor (from la, imperator The Latin word "imperator" derives from the stem of the verb la, imperare, label=none, meaning 'to order, to command'. It was originally employed as a title roughly equivalent to ''commander'' under the Roma ...
.
Tsar Ivan III
Tsar Ivan III
(1462–1505) laid the groundwork for the empire that later emerged. He tripled the territory of his state, ended the dominance of the
Golden Horde The Golden Horde, self-designated as Ulug Ulus, 'Great State' in Turkic, was originally a Mongol The Mongols ( mn, Монголчууд, , ''Mongolchuud'', ; russian: Монголы, ) are an ethnic group to the , and the of Russia. ...
, renovated the
Moscow Kremlin The Moscow Kremlin ( rus, Московский Кремль, r=Moskovskiy Kreml', p=mɐˈskofskʲɪj krʲemlʲ), or simply the Kremlin, is a fortified complex in the center of Moscow Moscow (, ; rus, links=no, Москва, r=Moskva, p=m ...

Moscow Kremlin
, and laid the foundations of the Russian state. The
House of Romanov The House of Romanov (also transcribed Romanoff; rus, Рома́новы, Románovy, rɐˈmanəvɨ) was the reigning imperial house of Russia Russia ( rus, link=no, Россия, Rossiya, ), or the Russian Federation, is a country s ...
ruled the Russian Empire from its beginning in 1721 until 1762. Its matrilineal branch of patrilineal German descent, the
House of Holstein-Gottorp-Romanov The House of Romanov (also transcribed Romanoff; rus, Рома́новы, Románovy, rɐˈmanəvɨ) was the reigning dynasty, imperial house of Russia from 1613 to 1917. They achieved prominence after the Tsarina, Anastacia of Russia, Anastasi ...
, ruled from 1762 until the end of the empire. At the beginning of the 19th century, the empire extended from the
Arctic Ocean The Arctic Ocean is the smallest and shallowest of the world's five major s. It spans an area of approximately and is also known as the coldest of all the oceans. The (IHO) recognizes it as an ocean, although some call it the Arctic Medit ...

Arctic Ocean
in the north to the
Black Sea , with the skyline of Batumi Batumi (; ka, ბათუმი ) is the second largest city of Georgia Georgia usually refers to: * Georgia (country) Georgia ( ka, საქართველო; ''Sakartvelo''; ) is a country locat ...

Black Sea
in the south, from the
Baltic Sea The Baltic Sea is an arm of the Atlantic Ocean, enclosed by Denmark Denmark ( da, Danmark, ) is a Nordic country The Nordic countries, or the Nordics, are a geographical and cultural region In geography, regions are areas that a ...

Baltic Sea
on the west into
Alaska Alaska (; ale, Alax̂sxax̂; ; ems, Alas'kaaq; Central Alaskan Yup'ik language, Yup'ik: ''Alaskaq''; tli, Anáaski) is a U.S. state in the Western United States, on the northwest extremity of the country's West Coast of the United State ...
and
Northern California Northern California (colloquially known as NorCal) is a geographic and cultural region that generally comprises the northern portion of the U.S. state of California. Spanning the state's northernmost 48 counties, its main population centers incl ...

Northern California
, in North America, on the east. With 125.6 million subjects, according to the 1897 census, it had the third-largest population in the world at the time, after
Qing China The Qing dynasty, officially the Great Qing (), was the last dynasty A dynasty (, ) is a sequence of rulers from the same family,''Oxford English Dictionary'', "dynasty, ''n''." Oxford University Press Oxford University Pre ...
and
India India, officially the Republic of India (Hindi Hindi (Devanagari: , हिंदी, ISO 15919, ISO: ), or more precisely Modern Standard Hindi (Devanagari: , ISO 15919, ISO: ), is an Indo-Aryan language spoken chiefly in Hindi Belt, ...

India
. Like all empires, it featured great economic, ethnic, linguistic, and religious diversity. The empire had a predominantly agricultural economy based on large estates worked unproductively by Russian peasants, known as ''serfs'', who were tied to the land under a feudal arrangement. The serfs were freed in 1861, but the landowning aristocratic class kept control. The economy slowly industrialized with the help of foreign investments in railways and factories. Many dissident elements launched numerous rebellions and assassinations over the centuries. In the 19th century, dissidents were closely watched by the imperial secret police, and thousands were exiled to
Siberia Siberia (; rus, Сибирь, r=Sibir', p=sʲɪˈbʲirʲ, a=Ru-Сибирь.ogg) is an extensive geographical region, constituting all of North Asia, from the Ural Mountains in the west to the Pacific Ocean in the east. It has been a part of R ...

Siberia
. Emperor
Peter IPeter I may refer to: Religious hierarchs * Saint Peter (c. 1 AD – c. 64–88 AD), a.k.a. Simon Peter, Simeon, or Simon, apostle of Jesus * Pope Peter I of Alexandria (died 311), revered as a saint * Peter I of Armenia (died 1058), Catholicos o ...

Peter I
(1682–1725) fought numerous wars and expanded an already vast empire into a major European power. He moved the capital from
Moscow Moscow ( , American English, US chiefly ; rus, links=no, Москва, r=Moskva, p=mɐˈskva, a=Москва.ogg) is the Capital city, capital and List of cities and towns in Russia by population, largest city of Russia. The city stands on the ...

Moscow
to the new model city of
Saint Petersburg Saint Petersburg ( rus, links=no, Санкт-Петербург, a=Ru-Sankt Peterburg Leningrad Petrograd Piter.ogg, r=Sankt-Peterburg, p=ˈsankt pʲɪtʲɪrˈburk), formerly known as Petrograd (1914–1924) and later Leningrad (1924–1991), ...

Saint Petersburg
, which was largely built according to Western design. He led a cultural revolution that replaced some of the traditionalist and medieval social and political mores with a modern, scientific, Western-oriented, and rationalist system. Empress
Catherine the Great russian: Екатерина Алексеевна Романова, translit=Yekaterina Alekseyevna Romanova en, Catherine Alexeievna Romanova, link=yes , house = , father = Christian August, Prince of Anhalt-Zerbst , mother ...
(1762–1796) presided over a golden age; she expanded the state by conquest, colonization, and diplomacy, while continuing Peter I's policy of modernization along Western European lines.
Tsar Alexander I Alexander I (; – ) was the Emperor of Russia (Tsar) from 1801, the first King of Congress Poland from 1815, and the Grand Duke of Finland from 1809 to his death. He was the eldest son of Emperor Paul I and Sophie Dorothea of Württemberg. ...

Tsar Alexander I
(1801-1825) played a major role in defeating
Napoleon Napoléon Bonaparte (15 August 1769 – 5 May 1821) was a French military and political leader. He rose to prominence during the French Revolution The French Revolution ( ) refers to the period that began with the Estates General o ...

Napoleon
's ambitions to control Europe, as well as constituting the
Holy Alliance The Holy Alliance in 1840: The Holy Alliance (german: Heilige Allianz; russian: Священный союз, ''Svyashchennyy soyuz''; also called the Grand Alliance) was a coalition linking the monarchist great powers of Austria Aust ...

Holy Alliance
of conservative monarchies. Russia further expanded to the west, south, and east, becoming one of the most powerful European empires of the time. Its victories in the
Russo-Turkish Wars The Russo-Turkish wars (or Ottoman–Russian wars) were a series of twelve wars fought between the Russian Empire and the Ottoman Empire between the 16th and 20th centuries. It was one of the longest series of military conflicts in History of Europe ...
were checked by defeat in the
Crimean War The Crimean War, , was a military conflict fought from October 1853 to February 1856 in which Russian Empire, Russia lost to an alliance of Second French Empire, France, the Ottoman Empire, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, ...
(1853-1856), which led to a period of reform and intensified expansion in Central Asia.
Emperor Alexander II
Emperor Alexander II
(1855–1881) initiated numerous reforms, most dramatically the emancipation of all 23 million serfs in 1861. His policy in Eastern Europe officially involved the protection of
Eastern Orthodox Christians The Eastern Orthodox Church, officially the Orthodox Catholic Church, is the List of Christian denominations by number of members, second-largest Christian church, with approximately 220 million baptised members. It operates as a Communion ( ...
within the
Ottoman Empire The Ottoman Empire (; ', ; or '; )info page on bookat Martin Luther University) // CITED: p. 36 (PDF p. 38/338). was an empire that controlled much of Southeastern Europe, Western Asia, and North Africa, Northern Africa between the 14th a ...
. This was one factor leading to Russia's entry into
World War I World War I, often abbreviated as WWI or WW1, also known as the First World War or the Great War, was a global war A world war is "a war engaged in by all or most of the principal nations of the world". The term is usually reserved for ...

World War I
in 1914, on the side of the Allied powers against the
Central Powers The Central Powers, also known as the Central Empires,german: Mittelmächte; hu, Központi hatalmak; tr, İttifak Devletleri / ; bg, Централни сили, translit=Tsentralni sili was one of the two main coalitions that fought World W ...
. The Russian Empire functioned as an
absolute monarchy Absolute monarchy (or absolutism as doctrine) is a form of monarchy in which the monarch holds supreme autocracy, autocratic authority, principally not being restricted by written laws, legislature, or customs. These are often hereditary monar ...
on the ideological doctrine of
Orthodoxy, Autocracy, and Nationality Orthodoxy, Autocracy, and Nationality (russian: Правосла́вие, самодержа́вие, наро́дность, Pravoslávie, samoderzhávie, naródnost'), also known as Official Nationality,Riasanovsky, p. 132 was the dominant imperia ...
until the
Revolution of 1905 The Russian Revolution of 1905,. also known as the First Russian Revolution,. was a wave of mass political and social unrest that spread through vast areas of the Russian Empire, some of which was directed at the government. It included worker s ...

Revolution of 1905
, when a nominal
semi-constitutional monarchy A constitutional monarchy, parliamentary monarchy, or democratic monarchy is a form of monarchy in which the monarch exercises his authority in accordance with a constitution and is not alone in deciding. Constitutional monarchies differ from a ...
was established. It functioned poorly during World War I, leading to the February Revolution and the abdication of
Tsar Nicholas II Nicholas II or Nikolai II Alexandrovich Romanov . ( 186817 July 1918), known in the Russian Orthodox Church as Saint Nicholas the Passion-Bearer, . was the last Emperor of All Russia, ruling from 1 November 1894 until Abdication of Nicholas II ...
, after which the monarchy was abolished. In the
October Revolution The October Revolution,. officially known as the Great October Socialist Revolution. under the Soviet Union The Soviet Union,. officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. (USSR),. was a that spanned during its existence ...

October Revolution
, the
Bolsheviks The Bolsheviks (Russian language, Russian: Большевики, from большинство ''bolshinstvo'', 'majority'),; derived from ''bol'shinstvo'' (большинство), "majority", literally meaning "one of the majority". also know ...
seized power, leading to the
Russian Civil War , date = October Revolution, 7 November 1917 – Yakut revolt, 16 June 1923{{Efn, The main phase ended on 25 October 1922. Revolt against the Bolsheviks continued Basmachi movement, in Central Asia and Tungus Republic, the Far East th ...
. The Bolsheviks executed the imperial family in 1918 and established the
Soviet Union The Soviet Union,. officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. (USSR),. was a that spanned during its existence from 1922 to 1991. It was nominally a of multiple national ; in practice and were highly until its final years. The ...
in 1922 after emerging victorious from the civil war.


History

Though the Empire was not officially proclaimed by Tsar
Peter IPeter I may refer to: Religious hierarchs * Saint Peter (c. 1 AD – c. 64–88 AD), a.k.a. Simon Peter, Simeon, or Simon, apostle of Jesus * Pope Peter I of Alexandria (died 311), revered as a saint * Peter I of Armenia (died 1058), Catholicos o ...

Peter I
until after the
Treaty of Nystad The Treaty of Nystad (russian: Ништадтский мир; fi, Uudenkaupungin rauha; sv, Freden i Nystad; et, Uusikaupunki rahu) was the last peace treaty of the Great Northern War of 1700–1721. It was concluded between the Tsardom of R ...

Treaty of Nystad
(1721), some historians argue that it originated when
Ivan III of Russia Ivan III Vasilyevich (russian: Иван III Васильевич; 22 January 1440, Moscow – 27 October 1505, Moscow), also known as Ivan the Great, was a Grand Prince of Moscow This is a list of all reigning monarchs in the history of Ru ...

Ivan III of Russia
conquered
Veliky Novgorod Veliky Novgorod ( rus, links=yes, Великий Новгород, p=vʲɪˈlʲikʲɪj ˈnovɡərət), also known as just Novgorod (russian: Новгород, lit=newtown, links=yes), is the largest city and administrative centerAn administrati ...
in 1478. According to another point of view, the term ''Tsardom'', which was used after the coronation of Ivan IV in 1547, was already a contemporary Russian word for empire.


Population

Much of Russia's expansion occurred in the 17th century, culminating in the first Russian colonization of the Pacific, the
Russo-Polish War (1654–67) Armed conflicts between Poland (including the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth) and Russia (including the Soviet Union) include: Originally a Polish civil war that Russia, among others, became involved in. Originally a Hungarian revolution but ...
, which led to the incorporation of
left-bank Ukraine 200px, Left-bank Ukraine Left-bank Ukraine ( uk, Лівобережна Україна, translit=Livoberezhna Ukrayina; russian: Левобережная Украина, translit=Levoberezhnaya Ukraina; pl, Lewobrzeżna Ukraina) is a historic na ...
, and the
Russian conquest of Siberia Lamellar armour worn by indigenous peoples of Siberia ">indigenous_peoples_of_Siberia.html" ;"title="Lamellar armour worn by indigenous peoples of Siberia">Lamellar armour worn by indigenous peoples of Siberia The Russian conquest of Siberi ...
. Poland was divided in the 1790–1815 era, with much of its land and population being taken under Russian rule. Most of the empire's growth in the 19th-century came from gaining territory in central and eastern Asia south of Siberia. By 1795, after the
Partitions of Poland The Partitions of Poland were three partitions of the Polish–Lithuanian CommonwealthPolish–Lithuanian can refer to: * Polish–Lithuanian union (1385–1569) * Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth (1569–1795) * Polish-Lithuanian identity as ...

Partitions of Poland
, Russia became the most populous state in Europe, ahead of France.


Eighteenth century


Peter the Great (1672–1725)

Peter I (1672–1725)—also referred to as Peter the Great—played a major role in introducing the European state system into the Russian Empire. While the empire's vast lands had a population of 14 million, grain yields trailed behind those in the West. Nearly the entire population was devoted to agriculture, with only a small percentage living in towns. The class of ''
kholop A kholop ( rus, холо́п, p=xɐˈlop) was a type of feudal Feudalism, also known as the feudal system, was a combination of the legal, economic, military, and cultural customs that flourished in Medieval Europe between the 9th and 15th centu ...
s'', whose status was close to that of
slaves Slavery and enslavement are both the state and the condition of being a slave, who is someone forbidden to quit their service for an enslaver, and who is treated by the enslaver as their property. Slavery typically involves the enslaved per ...
, remained a major institution in Russia until 1723, when Peter converted household kholops into house
serfs Serfdom was the status of many peasants under feudalism, specifically relating to manorialism, and similar systems. It was a condition of debt bondage and indentured servitude with similarities to and differences from slavery, which developed ...
, thus counting them for poll taxation. Russian agricultural kholops had been formally converted into serfs earlier in 1679. They were largely tied to the land, in a feudal sense, until the late nineteenth century. Peter's first military efforts were directed against the
Ottoman Turks The Ottoman Turks (or Osmanlı Turks, tr, Osmanlı Türkleri) were the Turkish language , Turkish-speaking people of the Ottoman Empire ( 1299–1922/1923). Reliable information about the early history of Ottoman Turks remains scarce, but the ...
. His attention then turned to the north. Russia lacked a secure northern seaport, except at
Archangel An archangel is an angel of high Christian angelic hierarchy, rank. The word "archangel" itself is usually associated with the Abrahamic religions, but beings that are very similar to archangels are found in a number of religious traditions. T ...
on the
White Sea The White Sea (russian: Белое море, ''Béloye móre''; Karelian language, Karelian and fi, Vienanmeri, lit. Dvina Sea; yrk, Сэрако ямʼ, ''Serako yam'') is a southern inlet of the Barents Sea located on the northwest coast of ...
, where the harbor was frozen for nine months a year. Access to the
Baltic Sea The Baltic Sea is an arm of the Atlantic Ocean, enclosed by Denmark Denmark ( da, Danmark, ) is a Nordic country The Nordic countries, or the Nordics, are a geographical and cultural region In geography, regions are areas that a ...

Baltic Sea
was blocked by Sweden, whose territory enclosed it on three sides. Peter's ambitions for a "window to the sea" led him, in 1699, to make a secret alliance with
Saxony Saxony (german: Sachsen ; Upper Saxon Upper Saxon (german: Obersächsisch, ; ) is an East Central German East Central German (german: Ostmitteldeutsch) is the eastern, non-Franconian languages, Franconian Central German language, part o ...

Saxony
, the
Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth The Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, formally known as the Kingdom of Poland and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, and, after 1791, the Commonwealth of Poland, was a country and bi-federation A federation (also known as a federal state) is ...
, and Denmark against Sweden; they conducted the
Great Northern War The Great Northern War (1700–1721) was a conflict in which a coalition led by the Tsardom of Russia The Tsardom of Russia or Tsardom of Rus' (russian: Русское царство, ''Russkoye tsarstvo''; later changed to: , ''Rossiyskoy ...

Great Northern War
, which ended in 1721 when an exhausted Sweden asked for peace with Russia. As a result, Peter acquired four provinces situated south and east of the
Gulf of Finland The Gulf of Finland ( fi, Suomenlahti; et, Soome laht; rus, Фи́нский зали́в, r=Finskiy zaliv, p=ˈfʲinskʲɪj zɐˈlʲif; sv, Finska viken) is the easternmost arm of the Baltic Sea The Baltic Sea is an arm of the Atlantic ...
, securing access to the sea. There he built Russia's new capital,
Saint Petersburg Saint Petersburg ( rus, links=no, Санкт-Петербург, a=Ru-Sankt Peterburg Leningrad Petrograd Piter.ogg, r=Sankt-Peterburg, p=ˈsankt pʲɪtʲɪrˈburk), formerly known as Petrograd (1914–1924) and later Leningrad (1924–1991), ...

Saint Petersburg
, on the
Neva River The Neva (russian: Нева́, ; fi, Neva) is a river A river is a natural flowing watercourse, usually freshwater, flowing towards an ocean, sea, lake or another river. In some cases a river flows into the ground and becomes dry at the ...

Neva River
, to replace Moscow, which had long been Russia's cultural center. This relocation expressed his intent to adopt European elements for his empire. Many of the government and other major buildings were designed under Italianate influence. In 1722, he turned his aspirations toward increasing Russian influence in the
Caucasus The Caucasus (), or Caucasia (), is a region spanning Europe and Asia. It is situated between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea and mainly occupied by Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia (country), Georgia, and parts of Southern Russia. It is home to ...
and the
Caspian Sea The Caspian Sea (also known as Mazandaran Sea, Hyrcanian Ocean, or Khazar Sea), tk, Hazar deňzi, az, Xəzər Dənizi, russian: Каспийское море, script=Latn, fa, دریای مازندران، دریای خزر, script=Latn, tly, ...

Caspian Sea
at the expense of the weakened
Safavid Persians
Safavid Persians
. He made
Astrakhan Astrakhan ( rus, Астрахань, p=ˈastrəxənʲ), is the largest city and administrative centreAn administrative centre is a seat of regional administration or local government, or a county town, or the place where the central administration ...

Astrakhan
the centre of military efforts against Persia, and waged the first full-scale war against them in 1722–23. Peter the Great temporarily annexed several areas of Iran to Russia, which after the death of Peter were returned in the 1732 Treaty of Resht and 1735
Treaty of Ganja A treaty is a formal, legally binding written agreement between actors in international law International law, also known as public international law and law of nations, is the set of rules, norms, and standards generally accepted in relati ...
as a deal to oppose the Ottomans. Peter reorganized his government based on the latest political models of the time, molding Russia into an absolutist state. He replaced the old ''boyar''
Duma A duma (дума) is a Russian assembly with advisory or legislative A legislature is an assembly Assembly may refer to: Organisations and meetings * Deliberative assembly A deliberative assembly is a gathering of members (of any kind ...

Duma
(council of nobles) with a nine-member Senate, in effect a supreme council of state. The countryside was divided into new provinces and districts. Peter told the Senate that its mission was to collect taxes, and tax revenues tripled over the course of his reign. Meanwhile, all vestiges of local self-government were removed. Peter continued and intensified his predecessors' requirement of state service from all nobles, in the
Table of Ranks A manuscript copy of the 1722 Table of Ranks The Table of Ranks (russian: Табель о рангах, Tabel' o rangakh) was a formal list of positions and ranks in the military, government, and court of Imperial Russia The Russian Empire, . c ...
. As part of Peter's reorganisation, he also enacted a church reform. The
Russian Orthodox Church , native_name_lang = ru , image = Moscow July 2011-7a.jpg , imagewidth = , alt = , caption = Cathedral of Christ the Saviour The Cathedral of Christ the Saviour ( rus, Храм Хр ...

Russian Orthodox Church
was partially incorporated into the country's administrative structure, in effect making it a tool of the state. Peter abolished the patriarchate and replaced it with a collective body, the
Holy Synod In several of the autocephalous Eastern Orthodox The Eastern Orthodox Church, officially the Orthodox Catholic Church, is the List of Christian denominations by number of members, second-largest Christian church, with approximately 220 mil ...
, which was led by a government official. Peter died in 1725, leaving an unsettled succession. After a short reign by his widow,
Catherine I Catherine I ( rus, Екатери́на I Алексе́евна Миха́йлова, Yekaterína I Alekséyevna Mikháylova; born , ; – ) was the second wife and Empress consort of Peter the Great, and Emperor of all the Russias, Empress Regn ...

Catherine I
, the crown passed to empress
Anna Anna may refer to: * Anna (given name) ** Anne, a derivative of Anna People * Anna (feral child) (1932–1942), pseudonym given to an abused child in Pennsylvania, U.S. * Anna (singer) (born 1987), Japanese-American singer * Anna the Prophetess, ...

Anna
. She slowed the reforms and led a successful war against the Ottoman Empire. This resulted in a significant weakening of the
Crimean Khanate The Crimean Khanate ( crh, , or ), own name — Great Horde and Desht-i Kipchak (), in old European historiography and geography — Little Tartary ( la, Tartaria Minor) was a Crimean Tatars, Crimean Tatar state existing from 1441 to 1783, the ...

Crimean Khanate
, an Ottoman vassal and long-term Russian adversary. The discontent over the dominant positions of
Baltic Germans The Baltic Germans (german: Deutsch-Balten or , later ; and остзейцы ''ostzeitsy'' 'Balters' in Russian) are ethnic German inhabitants of the eastern shores of the Baltic Sea, in what today are Estonia and Latvia. Since their reset ...
in Russian politics resulted in Peter I's daughter
Elizabeth Elizabeth or Elisabeth may refer to: People * Elizabeth (given name), a female given name (including people with that name) * Elizabeth (biblical figure), mother of John the Baptist Ships * HMS Elizabeth, HMS ''Elizabeth'', several ships * Elisab ...

Elizabeth
being put on the Russian throne. Elizabeth supported the arts, architecture, and the sciences (for example, the founding of
Moscow University Moscow State University (MSU; russian: Московский государственный университет имени М. В. Ломоносова ''Moskovskiy gosudarstvenn'y universitet imeni M. V. Lomonosova'', often abbreviated МГУ, ...
). But she did not carry out significant structural reforms. Her reign, which lasted nearly 20 years, is also known for Russia's involvement in the
Seven Years' War The Seven Years' War (1756–1763) is widely considered to be the first global conflict in history, and was a struggle for world supremacy between Kingdom of Great Britain, Great Britain and Kingdom of France, France. In Europe, the conflict ar ...
, where it was successful militarily, but gained little politically.


Catherine the Great (1762–1796)

Catherine the Great russian: Екатерина Алексеевна Романова, translit=Yekaterina Alekseyevna Romanova en, Catherine Alexeievna Romanova, link=yes , house = , father = Christian August, Prince of Anhalt-Zerbst , mother ...
was a German princess who married Peter III, the German heir to the Russian crown. After the death of Empress Elizabeth, Catherine came to power after she effected a coup d'état against her unpopular husband. She contributed to the resurgence of the Russian nobility that began after the death of Peter the Great, abolishing State service and granting them control of most state functions in the provinces. She also removed the tax on beards instituted by Peter the Great. Catherine extended Russian political control over the lands of the
Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth The Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, formally known as the Kingdom of Poland and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, and, after 1791, the Commonwealth of Poland, was a country and bi-federation A federation (also known as a federal state) is ...
, supporting the
Targowica Confederation 266px, Russian general Vasili Stepanovich Popov, author of the text of confederation The Targowica Confederation ( pl, konfederacja targowicka, , lt, Targovicos konfederacija) was a confederation A confederation (also known as a confedera ...
. However, the cost of these campaigns further burdened the already oppressive social system, under which serfs were required to spend almost all of their time laboring on their owners' land. A major peasant uprising took place in 1773, after Catherine legalised the selling of serfs separate from land. Inspired by a
Cossack The Cossacks * russian: казаки́ or * be, казакi * pl, Kozacy * cs, kozáci * sk, kozáci * hu, kozákok, cazacii * fi, Kasakat, cazacii * et, Kasakad, cazacii are a group of predominantly East Slavic languages, East Slav ...

Cossack
named
Yemelyan Pugachev Yemelyan Ivanovich Pugachev (russian: link=no, Емелья́н Ива́нович Пугачёв; c. 1742) was an ataman of the Ural Cossacks, Yaik Cossacks who led a great Pugachev's Rebellion, popular insurrection during the reign of Catheri ...

Yemelyan Pugachev
and proclaiming "Hang all the landlords!", the rebels threatened to take Moscow before they were ruthlessly suppressed. Instead of imposing the traditional punishment of drawing and quartering, Catherine issued secret instructions that the executioners should execute death sentences quickly and with minimal suffering, as part of her effort to introduce compassion into the law. She furthered these efforts by ordering the public trial of
Darya Nikolayevna Saltykova Darya Nikolayevna Saltykova ( rus, Да́рья Никола́евна Салтыко́ва; , Ива́нова; March 11, 1730 – December 27, 1801), commonly known as Saltychikha ( rus, Салтычи́ха, p=səltɨˈt͡ɕixə), was a Russi ...

Darya Nikolayevna Saltykova
, a high-ranking nobleman, on charges of torturing and murdering serfs. Whilst these gestures garnered Catherine much positive attention from Europe during the Enlightenment, the specter of revolution and disorder continued to haunt her and her successors. Indeed, her son
Paul Paul may refer to: *Paul (name), a given name (includes a list of people with that name) *Paul (surname), a list of people People Christianity *Paul the Apostle (AD 5–67), also known as Saul of Tarsus or Saint Paul, early Christian missionar ...
introduced a number of increasingly erratic decrees in his short reign aimed directly against the spread of French culture in response to their revolution. In order to ensure the continued support of the nobility, which was essential to her reign, Catherine was obliged to strengthen their authority and power at the expense of the serfs and other lower classes. Nevertheless, Catherine realized that serfdom must eventually be ended, going so far in her ''Nakaz'' ("Instruction") to say that serfs were "just as good as we are" – a comment received with disgust by the nobility. Catherine advanced Russia's southern and western frontiers, Russo-Turkish Wars, successfully waging war against the Ottoman Empire for territory near the
Black Sea , with the skyline of Batumi Batumi (; ka, ბათუმი ) is the second largest city of Georgia Georgia usually refers to: * Georgia (country) Georgia ( ka, საქართველო; ''Sakartvelo''; ) is a country locat ...

Black Sea
, and incorporating territories of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth during the
Partitions of Poland The Partitions of Poland were three partitions of the Polish–Lithuanian CommonwealthPolish–Lithuanian can refer to: * Polish–Lithuanian union (1385–1569) * Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth (1569–1795) * Polish-Lithuanian identity as ...

Partitions of Poland
, alongside Austrian Empire, Austria and Prussia. As part of the Treaty of Georgievsk, signed with the Georgian Kingdom of Kartli-Kakheti, and her own political aspirations, Catherine waged a new war Persian Expedition of 1796, against Persia in 1796 after they had invaded Eastern Georgia (country), eastern Georgia. Upon achieving victory, she established Russian rule over it and expelled the newly established Persian garrisons in the Caucasus. By the time of her death in 1796, Catherine's expansionist policy had caused Russia to develop into a major European power. This trend continued with Alexander I of Russia, Alexander I's Finnish War, wresting of Finland from the weakened kingdom of Sweden in 1809, and of Bessarabia from the Moldavia, Principality of Moldavia, ceded by the Ottomans in 1812.


State budget

Russia was in a continuous state of financial crisis. While revenue rose from 9 million rubles in 1724 to 40 million in 1794, expenses grew more rapidly, reaching 49 million in 1794. The budget allocated 46 percent to the military, 20 percent to government economic activities, 12 percent to administration, and nine percent for the Imperial Court in St. Petersburg. The deficit required borrowing, primarily from bankers in Amsterdam; five percent of the budget was allocated to debt payments. Paper money was issued to pay for expensive wars, thus causing inflation. As a result of its spending, Russia developed a large and well-equipped army, a very large and complex bureaucracy, and a court that rivaled those of Paris and London. But the government was living far beyond its means, and 18th-century Russia remained "a poor, backward, overwhelmingly agricultural, and illiterate country".


First half of the nineteenth century

In 1812, the First French Empire, French emperor
Napoleon Napoléon Bonaparte (15 August 1769 – 5 May 1821) was a French military and political leader. He rose to prominence during the French Revolution The French Revolution ( ) refers to the period that began with the Estates General o ...

Napoleon
, following a dispute with
Tsar Alexander I Alexander I (; – ) was the Emperor of Russia (Tsar) from 1801, the first King of Congress Poland from 1815, and the Grand Duke of Finland from 1809 to his death. He was the eldest son of Emperor Paul I and Sophie Dorothea of Württemberg. ...

Tsar Alexander I
, launched an French invasion of Russia, invasion of Russia. It was catastrophic for France, whose army was decimated during the Russian winter. Although Napoleon's Grande Armée reached Moscow, the Russians' scorched earth strategy prevented the invaders from living off the country. In the harsh and bitter winter, thousands of French troops were ambushed and killed by peasant guerrilla fighters. As Napoleon's forces retreated, Russian troops pursued them into Central and Western Europe and to the gates of Paris. After Russia and its allies defeated Napoleon, Alexander became known as the "saviour of Europe". He presided over the redrawing of the map of Europe at the Congress of Vienna (1815), which ultimately made Alexander the monarch of Congress Poland. The "
Holy Alliance The Holy Alliance in 1840: The Holy Alliance (german: Heilige Allianz; russian: Священный союз, ''Svyashchennyy soyuz''; also called the Grand Alliance) was a coalition linking the monarchist great powers of Austria Aust ...

Holy Alliance
" was proclaimed, linking the monarchist great powers of Austria, Prussia, and Russia. Although the Russian Empire played a leading political role in the next century, thanks to its role in defeating Napoleonic France, its retention of serfdom precluded economic progress to any significant degree. As Western European economic growth accelerated during the Industrial Revolution, Russia began to lag ever farther behind, creating new weaknesses for the Empire seeking to play a role as a great power. Russia's status as a great power concealed the inefficiency of its government, the isolation of its people, and its economic and social backwardness. Following the defeat of Napoleon, Alexander I had been ready to discuss constitutional reforms, but though government reform of Alexander I, a few were introduced, no major changes were attempted. The liberal Alexander I was replaced by his younger brother Nicholas I of Russia, Nicholas I (1825–1855), who at the beginning of his reign was confronted with an uprising. The background of this revolt lay in the Napoleonic Wars, when a number of well-educated Russian officers travelled in Europe in the course of military campaigns, where their exposure to the liberalism of Western Europe encouraged them to seek change on their return to autocratic Russia. The result was the Decembrist revolt (December 1825), which was the work of a small circle of liberal nobles and army officers who wanted to install Nicholas' brother Grand Duke Konstantin Pavlovich of Russia, Constantine as a constitutional monarch. The revolt was easily crushed, but it caused Nicholas to turn away from the modernization program begun by Peter the Great and champion the doctrine of
Orthodoxy, Autocracy, and Nationality Orthodoxy, Autocracy, and Nationality (russian: Правосла́вие, самодержа́вие, наро́дность, Pravoslávie, samoderzhávie, naródnost'), also known as Official Nationality,Riasanovsky, p. 132 was the dominant imperia ...
. In order to repress further revolts, censorship was intensified, including the constant surveillance of schools and universities. Textbooks were strictly regulated by the government. Police spies were planted everywhere. Would-be revolutionaries were sent off to Siberia – under Nicholas I hundreds of thousands were sent to katorga there. The retaliation for the revolt made "December Fourteenth" a day long remembered by later revolutionary movements. The question of Russia's direction had been gaining attention ever since Peter the Great's program of modernization. Some favored imitating Western Europe while others were against this and called for a return to the traditions of the past. The latter path was advocated by Slavophilia, Slavophiles, who held the "decadent" West in contempt. The Slavophiles were opponents of bureaucracy, who preferred the collectivism of the medieval Russian ''obshchina'' or ''mir'' over the individualism of the West. More extreme social doctrines were elaborated by such Russian radicals on the left, such as Alexander Herzen, Mikhail Bakunin, and Peter Kropotkin.


Foreign policy (1800–1864)

After Russian armies liberated the Kingdom of Kartli-Kakheti, Eastern Georgian Kingdom (allied since the 1783 Treaty of Georgievsk) from the Qajar dynasty's occupation of 1802, during the Russo-Persian War (1804–13), they clashed with Persia over control and consolidation of Georgia, and also became involved in the Caucasian War against the Caucasian Imamate. At the conclusion of the war, Persia irrevocably ceded what is now Dagestan, eastern Georgia, and most of Azerbaijan to Russia, under the Treaty of Gulistan. Russia attempted to expand to the southwest, at the expense of the Ottoman Empire, using recently acquired Georgia at its base for its Caucasus and Anatolian front. The late 1820s were successful years militarily. Despite losing almost all recently consolidated territories in the first year of the Russo-Persian War (1826–28), Russo-Persian War of 1826–28, Russia managed to bring an end to the war with highly favourable terms granted by the Treaty of Turkmenchay, including the formal acquisition of what are now Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Iğdır Province. In the History of the Russo-Turkish wars, 1828–29 Russo-Turkish War, Russia invaded northeastern Anatolia and occupied the strategic Ottoman towns of Erzurum and Gümüşhane and, posing as protector and saviour of the Greek Orthodox Church, Greek Orthodox population, received extensive support from the region's Pontic Greeks. Following a brief occupation, the Russian imperial army withdrew back into Georgia. Russian tsars crushed two uprisings in their newly acquired Polish territories: the November Uprising in 1830 and the January Uprising in 1863. In 1863, the Russian autocracy had given the Polish artisans and gentry reason to rebel, by assailing national core values of language, religion, and culture. The result was the January Uprising, a massive Polish revolt, which was crushed by equally massive force. France, Britain, and Austria tried to intervene in the crisis but were unable to do so. The Russian patriotic press used the Polish uprising to unify the Russian nation, claiming it was Russia's God-given mission to save Poland and the world. Poland was punished by losing its distinctive political and judicial rights, with Russification being imposed on its schools and courts.


Second half of the nineteenth century

In 1854–55, Russia fought Britain, France and Turkey in the
Crimean War The Crimean War, , was a military conflict fought from October 1853 to February 1856 in which Russian Empire, Russia lost to an alliance of Second French Empire, France, the Ottoman Empire, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, ...
, which Russia lost. The war was fought primarily in the Crimea, Crimean peninsula, and to a lesser extent in the Baltic during the related Åland War. Since playing a major role in the defeat of Napoleon, Russia had been regarded as militarily invincible, but against a coalition of the great powers of Europe, the reverses it suffered on land and sea exposed the weakness of Tsar Nicholas' regime. When Alexander II of Russia, Tsar Alexander II ascended the throne in 1855, the desire for reform was widespread. A growing humanitarian movement attacked serfdom as inefficient. In 1859, there were more than 23 million serfs in usually poor living conditions. Alexander II decided to abolish serfdom from above, with ample provision for the landowners, rather than wait for it to be abolished from below by revolution. The Emancipation Reform of 1861, which freed the serfs, was the single most important event in 19th-century Russian history, and the beginning of the end of the landed aristocracy's monopoly on power. The 1860s saw further socio-economic reforms to clarify the position of the Russian government with regard to property rights. Emancipation brought a supply of free labour to the cities, stimulating industry; and the middle class grew in number and influence. However, instead of receiving their lands as a gift, the freed peasants had to pay a special lifetime tax to the government, which in turn paid the landlords a generous price for the land that they had lost. In numerous cases the peasants ended up with relatively small amounts of land. All the property turned over to the peasants was owned collectively by the ''mir'', the village community, which divided the land among the peasants and supervised the various holdings. Although serfdom was abolished, since its abolition was achieved on terms unfavourable to the peasants, revolutionary tensions did not abate. Revolutionaries believed that the newly freed serfs were merely being sold into wage slavery in the onset of the industrial revolution, and that the urban bourgeoisie had effectively replaced the landowners. Alexander II obtained Outer Manchuria from the
Qing China The Qing dynasty, officially the Great Qing (), was the last dynasty A dynasty (, ) is a sequence of rulers from the same family,''Oxford English Dictionary'', "dynasty, ''n''." Oxford University Press Oxford University Pre ...
between 1858 and 1860 as the Amur Annexation, and sold the last territories of Russian America, Alaska, to the United States in 1867. In the late 1870s, Russia and the Ottoman Empire again clashed in the Balkans. From 1875 to 1877, the Balkan crisis intensified, with rebellions against Ottoman rule by various Slavic nationalities, which the Ottoman Turks had dominated since the 16th century. This was seen as a political risk in Russia, which similarly suppressed its Muslims in Central Asia and Caucasia. Russian nationalist opinion became a major domestic factor with its support for liberating Balkan Christians from Ottoman rule and making Bulgaria and Serbia independent. In early 1877, Russia intervened on behalf of Serbian and Russian volunteer forces, leading to the Russo-Turkish War (1877–78). Within one year, Russian troops were nearing Istanbul and the Ottomans surrendered. Russia's nationalist diplomats and generals persuaded Alexander II to force the Ottomans to sign the Treaty of San Stefano in March 1878, creating an enlarged, independent Bulgaria that stretched into the southwestern Balkans. When Britain threatened to declare war over the terms of the treaty, an exhausted Russia backed down. At the Congress of Berlin in July 1878, Russia agreed to the creation of a smaller Bulgaria, as an autonomous principality inside the Ottoman Empire. As a result, Pan-Slavism, Pan-Slavists were left with a legacy of bitterness against Austria-Hungary and Germany for failing to back Russia. Disappointment at the results of the war stimulated revolutionary tensions, and helped Serbia, Romania, and Montenegro gain independence from, and strengthen themselves against, the Ottomans. Another significant result of the 1877–78 Russo-Turkish War in Russia's favour was the acquisition from the Ottomans of the provinces of Batumi, Batum, Ardahan, and Kars in Transcaucasia, which were transformed into the militarily administered regions of Batum Oblast and Kars Oblast. To replace Muslim refugees who had fled across the new frontier into Ottoman territory, the Russian authorities settled large numbers of Christians from ethnically diverse communities in Kars Oblast, particularly Georgians, Caucasus Greeks, and Armenians, each of whom hoped to achieve protection and advance their own regional ambitions.


Alexander III

In 1881, Alexander II was assassinated by the Narodnaya Volya, a Nihilist movement, Nihilist List of designated terrorist groups, terrorist organization. The throne passed to Alexander III of Russia, Alexander III (1881–1894), a reactionary who revived the maxim of "Orthodoxy, Autocracy, and Nationality" of Nicholas I. A committed Slavophile, Alexander III believed that Russia could be saved from turmoil only by shutting itself off from the subversive influences of Western Europe. During his reign, Russia formed the Franco-Russian Alliance, to contain the growing power of Germany; completed the History of Central Asia#Russian expansion into Central Asia (19th century), conquest of Central Asia; and demanded important territorial and commercial concessions from China. The tsar's most influential adviser was Konstantin Pobedonostsev, tutor to Alexander III and his son Nicholas, and procurator of the Holy Synod from 1880 to 1895. Pobedonostsev taught his imperial pupils to fear freedom of speech and the press, as well as dislike democracy, constitutions, and the parliamentary system. Under Pobedonostsev, revolutionaries were persecuted, and a policy of Russification was carried out throughout the Empire.


Foreign policy (1864–1907)

Russia had little difficulty expanding to the south, including conquering Turkestan, until Britain became alarmed when Russia threatened Afghanistan, with the implicit threat to India; and decades of diplomatic maneuvering resulted, called the Great Game. That rivalry between the two empires has been considered to have included far-flung territories such as Mongolia and Tibet. The maneuvering largely ended with the Anglo-Russian Convention of 1907. Expansion into the vast stretches of Siberia was slow and expensive, but finally became possible with the building of the Trans-Siberian Railway, 1890 to 1904. This opened up East Asia; and Russian interests focused on Mongolia, Manchuria, and Korea. China was too weak to resist, and was pulled increasingly into the Russian sphere. Russia obtained treaty ports such as Russian Dalian, Dalian/Lüshunkou District, Port Arthur. In 1900, the Russian Empire Russian invasion of Manchuria, invaded Manchuria as part of the Eight-Nation Alliance's intervention against the Boxer Rebellion. Japan strongly opposed Russian expansion, and defeated Russia in the Russo-Japanese War of 1904–1905. Japan took over Korea, and Manchuria remained a contested area. Meanwhile, France, looking for allies against Germany after 1871, formed a military alliance in 1894, with large-scale loans to Russia, sales of arms, and warships, as well as diplomatic support. Once Afghanistan was informally partitioned in 1907, Britain, France, and Russia came increasingly close together in opposition to Germany and Austria. They formed the Triple Entente, which played a central role in the
First World War World War I, often abbreviated as WWI or WW1, also known as the First World War or the Great War, was a global war A world war is "a war War is an intense armed conflict between states State may refer to: Arts, entertainmen ...
. That war broke out when the Austro-Hungarian Empire, with strong German support, tried to suppress Serbian nationalism, with Russia supporting Serbia. The great powers mobilized, and Berlin decided to act before the others were ready to fight, first invading Belgium and France in the west, and then Russia in the east.


Early twentieth century

In 1894, Alexander III was succeeded by his son, Nicholas II of Russia, Nicholas II, who was committed to retaining the autocracy that his father had left him. Nicholas II proved ineffective as a ruler, and in the end his dynasty was overthrown by revolution. The Industrial Revolution began to show significant influence in Russia, but the country remained rural and poor. Economic conditions steadily improved after 1890, thanks to new crops such as sugar beets, and new access to railway transportation. Total grain production increased, as well as exports, even with rising domestic demand from population growth. As a result, there was a slow improvement in the living standards of Russian peasants in the Empire's last two decades before 1914. Recent research into the physical stature of Army recruits shows they were bigger and stronger. There were regional variations, with more poverty in the heavily populated Central Black Earth Region, central black earth region; and there were temporary downturns in 1891–93 and 1905–1908. On the political right, the reactionary elements of the aristocracy strongly favored the large landholders, who, however, were slowly selling their land to the peasants through the Peasants' Land Bank. The Union of October 17, Octobrist party was a conservative force, with a base of landowners and businessmen. They accepted land reform but insisted that property owners be fully paid. They favored far-reaching reforms, and hoped the landlord class would fade away, while agreeing they should be paid for their land. Liberal elements among industrial capitalists and nobility, who believed in peaceful social reform and a constitutional monarchy, formed the Constitutional Democratic Party or ''Kadets''. On the left, the Socialist Revolutionary Party, Socialist Revolutionaries (SRs) and the Marxist Russian Social Democratic Labour Party, Social Democrats wanted to expropriate the land, without payment, but debated whether to distribute the land among the peasants (the Narodniks, Narodnik solution), or to put it into collective local ownership. The Socialist Revolutionaries also differed from the Social Democrats in that the SRs believed a revolution must rely on urban workers, not the peasantry. In 1903, at the 2nd Congress of the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party, in London, the party split into two wings: the gradualist Mensheviks and the more radical
Bolsheviks The Bolsheviks (Russian language, Russian: Большевики, from большинство ''bolshinstvo'', 'majority'),; derived from ''bol'shinstvo'' (большинство), "majority", literally meaning "one of the majority". also know ...
. The Mensheviks believed that the Russian working class was insufficiently developed and that socialism could be achieved only after a period of bourgeois democratic rule. They thus tended to ally themselves with the forces of bourgeois liberalism. The Bolsheviks, under Vladimir Lenin, supported the idea of forming a small elite of professional revolutionists, subject to strong party discipline, to act as the vanguard of the proletariat, in order to seize power by force. Defeat in the Russo-Japanese War (1904–1905) was a major blow to the tsarist regime and further increased the potential for unrest. In January 1905, an incident known as "Bloody Sunday (1905), Bloody Sunday" occurred when Father Georgy Gapon led an enormous crowd to the Winter Palace in
Saint Petersburg Saint Petersburg ( rus, links=no, Санкт-Петербург, a=Ru-Sankt Peterburg Leningrad Petrograd Piter.ogg, r=Sankt-Peterburg, p=ˈsankt pʲɪtʲɪrˈburk), formerly known as Petrograd (1914–1924) and later Leningrad (1924–1991), ...

Saint Petersburg
to present a petition to the tsar. When the procession reached the palace, soldiers opened fire on the crowd, killing hundreds. The Russian masses were so furious over the massacre that a general strike was declared, which demanded a democratic republic. This marked the beginning of the
Revolution of 1905 The Russian Revolution of 1905,. also known as the First Russian Revolution,. was a wave of mass political and social unrest that spread through vast areas of the Russian Empire, some of which was directed at the government. It included worker s ...

Revolution of 1905
. Soviet (council), Soviets (councils of workers) appeared in most cities to direct revolutionary activity. Russia was paralyzed, and the government was desperate. In October 1905, Nicholas reluctantly issued the October Manifesto, which conceded the creation of a national State Duma (Russian Empire), Duma (legislature) to be called without delay. The right to vote was extended and no law was to become final without confirmation by the Duma. The moderate groups were satisfied, but the socialists rejected the concessions as insufficient and tried to organise new strikes. By the end of 1905, there was disunity among the reformers, and the tsar's position was strengthened for the time being.


War, revolution, and collapse

Tsar Nicholas II and his subjects entered
World War I World War I, often abbreviated as WWI or WW1, also known as the First World War or the Great War, was a global war A world war is "a war engaged in by all or most of the principal nations of the world". The term is usually reserved for ...

World War I
with patriotic enthusiasm, with the defense of Russia's fellow Eastern Orthodox Church, Orthodox Slavs, the Serbs, as the main battle cry. In August 1914, the Russian army invaded Germany's province of East Prussia and occupied a significant portion of Austrian-controlled Galicia (Eastern Europe), Galicia in support of the Serbs and their allies – the French and British. In September 1914, in order to relieve pressure on France, the Russians were forced to halt a successful offensive against Austro-Hungary in Galicia in order to attack German-held Silesia. Military reversals and shortages among the civilian population soon soured much of the population. German control of the Baltic Sea and German–Ottoman control of the Black Sea severed Russia from most of its foreign supplies and potential markets. By the middle of 1915, the impact of the war was demoralizing. Food and fuel were in short supply, casualties were increasing, and inflation was mounting. Strikes rose among low-paid factory workers, and there were reports that peasants, who wanted reforms of land ownership, were restless. The tsar eventually decided to take personal command of the army and moved to the front, leaving his wife, the Empress Alexandra, in charge in the capital. She fell under the spell of a monk, Grigori Rasputin (1869–1916). His assassination in late 1916 by a clique of nobles could not restore the tsar's lost prestige. The Tsarist system was overthrown in the
February Revolution The February Revolution ( rus, Февра́льская револю́ция, p=fʲɪvˈralʲskəjə rʲɪvɐˈlʲutsɨjə, tr. ), known in Soviet historiography Soviet historiography is the methodology of history History (from Greek , ' ...
in 1917. The Bolsheviks declared "no annexations, no indemnities" and called on workers to accept their policies and demanded the end of the war. On 3 March 1917, a strike was organized at a factory in the capital, Petrograd; within a week nearly all the workers in the city were idle, and street fighting broke out. Rabinowitch argues that "[t]he February 1917 revolution ... grew out of prewar political and economic instability, technological backwardness, and fundamental social divisions, coupled with gross mismanagement of the war effort, continuing military defeats, domestic economic dislocation, and outrageous scandals surrounding the monarchy." Swain says, "The first government to be formed after the
February Revolution The February Revolution ( rus, Февра́льская револю́ция, p=fʲɪvˈralʲskəjə rʲɪvɐˈlʲutsɨjə, tr. ), known in Soviet historiography Soviet historiography is the methodology of history History (from Greek , ' ...
of 1917 had, with one exception, been composed of liberals." On 2 March 1917, Abdication of Nicholas II, Nicholas II abdicated, and soon, in July 1918, the Execution of the Romanov family, Romanov family was executed by the Bolsheviks.


Territory

By the end of the 19th century the area of the empire was about , or almost of the Earth's landmass; its only rival in size at the time was the British Empire. The majority of the population lived in European Russia. More than 100 different ethnic groups lived in the Russian Empire, with ethnic Russians composing about 45% of the population.


Geography

The administrative boundaries of European Russia, apart from Finland and its portion of Poland, coincided approximately with the natural limits of the East-European plains. To the north was the
Arctic Ocean The Arctic Ocean is the smallest and shallowest of the world's five major s. It spans an area of approximately and is also known as the coldest of all the oceans. The (IHO) recognizes it as an ocean, although some call it the Arctic Medit ...

Arctic Ocean
. Novaya Zemlya and the Kolguyev Island, Kolguyev and Vaygach Islands were considered part of European Russia, but the Kara Sea was part of
Siberia Siberia (; rus, Сибирь, r=Sibir', p=sʲɪˈbʲirʲ, a=Ru-Сибирь.ogg) is an extensive geographical region, constituting all of North Asia, from the Ural Mountains in the west to the Pacific Ocean in the east. It has been a part of R ...

Siberia
. To the east were the Asiatic territories of the Empire: Siberia and the Kyrgyz people, Kyrgyz steppes, from both of which it was separated by the Ural Mountains, the Ural River, and the
Caspian Sea The Caspian Sea (also known as Mazandaran Sea, Hyrcanian Ocean, or Khazar Sea), tk, Hazar deňzi, az, Xəzər Dənizi, russian: Каспийское море, script=Latn, fa, دریای مازندران، دریای خزر, script=Latn, tly, ...

Caspian Sea
 — the administrative boundary, however, partly extended into Asia on the Siberian slope of the Urals. To the south, were the
Black Sea , with the skyline of Batumi Batumi (; ka, ბათუმი ) is the second largest city of Georgia Georgia usually refers to: * Georgia (country) Georgia ( ka, საქართველო; ''Sakartvelo''; ) is a country locat ...

Black Sea
and the
Caucasus The Caucasus (), or Caucasia (), is a region spanning Europe and Asia. It is situated between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea and mainly occupied by Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia (country), Georgia, and parts of Southern Russia. It is home to ...
, being separated from the latter by the Manych River depression, which in post-Pliocene times connected the Sea of Azov with the Caspian. The western boundary was purely arbitrary: it crossed the Kola Peninsula from the Varangerfjord to the Gulf of Bothnia. It then ran to the Curonian Lagoon in the southern
Baltic Sea The Baltic Sea is an arm of the Atlantic Ocean, enclosed by Denmark Denmark ( da, Danmark, ) is a Nordic country The Nordic countries, or the Nordics, are a geographical and cultural region In geography, regions are areas that a ...

Baltic Sea
, and then to the mouth of the Danube, taking a great circular sweep to the west to embrace Poland, and separating Russia from Prussia, Austrian Galicia, and Romania. An important feature of Russia is its few free outlets to the open sea, outside the ice-bound shores of the Arctic Ocean. The deep indentations of the Gulf of Bothnia, Gulfs of Bothnia and Gulf of Finland, Finland were surrounded by what is Finns, ethnically Finnish territory, and it is only at the very head of the latter gulf that the Russians had taken firm foothold by erecting their capital at the mouth of the
Neva River The Neva (russian: Нева́, ; fi, Neva) is a river A river is a natural flowing watercourse, usually freshwater, flowing towards an ocean, sea, lake or another river. In some cases a river flows into the ground and becomes dry at the ...

Neva River
. The Gulf of Riga and the Baltic belong also to territory that was not inhabited by Slavs, but by Baltic and Finnic peoples, and by Germans. The east coast of the Black Sea belonged to Transcaucasia, a great chain of mountains separating it from Russia. But even this sheet of water is an inland sea, the only outlet of which, the Bosphorus, was in foreign hands, while the Caspian Sea, an immense shallow lake, mostly bordered by deserts, possessed more importance as a link between Russia and its Asiatic settlements than as a channel for intercourse with other countries.


Territorial development

In addition to almost the entire territory of modern Russia, prior to 1917 the Russian Empire included most of Dnieper Ukraine, Belarus, Bessarabia, the Grand Duchy of Finland, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia (country), Georgia, the Central Asian states of Russian Turkestan, most of the Baltic governorates, a significant portion of the Congress Poland, Kingdom of Poland, and the former Ottoman provinces of Ardahan Province, Ardahan, Artvin Province, Artvin, Iğdır Province, Iğdır, Kars Province, Kars, and the northeastern part of Erzurum Provinces. Between 1742 and 1867, the Russian-American Company administered Alaska as a colony. The company also established settlements in Hawaii, including Russian Fort Elizabeth, Fort Elizabeth (1817), and as far south in North America as Fort Ross, California, Fort Ross Colony (established in 1812) in Sonoma County, California just north of San Francisco. Both Fort Ross and the Russian River (California), Russian River in California got their names from Russian settlers, who had staked claims in a region claimed until 1821 by the Spanish as part of New Spain. Following the Swedish defeat in the Finnish War of 1808–1809 and the signing of the Treaty of Fredrikshamn on 17 September 1809, the eastern half of Sweden, the area that then became Finland, was incorporated into the Russian Empire as an autonomous administrative division, autonomous grand duchy. The tsar eventually ended up ruling Finland as a constitutional monarchy, semi-constitutional monarch through the Governor-General of Finland and a native Senate of Finland, Senate appointed by him. The Emperor never explicitly recognized Finland as a Swedish Constitution of 1772, constitutional state in its own right, although his Finnish subjects came to consider the grand duchy as such. In the aftermath of the Russo-Turkish War (1806–12), and the ensuing Treaty of Bucharest (1812), the eastern parts of the Moldavia, Principality of Moldavia, an Ottoman vassal state, along with some areas formerly under direct Ottoman rule, came under the rule of the Empire. This area (Bessarabia) was among the Russian Empire's last territorial acquisitions in Europe. At the Congress of Vienna (1815), Russia gained sovereignty over Congress Poland, which on paper was an autonomous Kingdom in personal union with Russia. However, this autonomy was eroded after an uprising in 1831, and was finally abolished in 1867. Saint Petersburg gradually extended and consolidated its control over the
Caucasus The Caucasus (), or Caucasia (), is a region spanning Europe and Asia. It is situated between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea and mainly occupied by Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia (country), Georgia, and parts of Southern Russia. It is home to ...
in the course of the 19th century, at the expense of Qajar dynasty, Persia through the Russo-Persian War (1804–13), Russo-Persian Wars of 1804–13 and Russo-Persian War (1826–28), 1826–28 and the respectively ensuing treaties of Treaty of Gulistan, Gulistan and Treaty of Turkmenchay, Turkmenchay, as well as through the Caucasian War (1817–1864). The Russian Empire expanded its influence and possessions in Central Asia, especially in the later 19th century, conquering much of Russian Turkestan in 1865 and continuing to add territory as late as 1885. Newly discovered Arctic islands became part of the Russian Empire: the New Siberian Islands from the early 18th century; Severnaya Zemlya ("Emperor Nicholas II Land") first mapped and claimed as late as 1913. During World War I, Russia briefly occupied a small part of East Prussia, then a part of Germany; a significant portion of Austrian Galicia; and significant portions of Ottoman Armenia. While the modern Russian Federation currently controls the Kaliningrad Oblast, which comprised the northern part of East Prussia, this differs from the area captured by the Empire in 1914, though there was some overlap: Gusev, Kaliningrad Oblast, Gusev (''Gumbinnen'' in German) was the site of the initial Battle of Gumbinnen, Russian victory.


Imperial territories

According to the 1st article of the Organic Law, the Russian Empire was one indivisible state. In addition, the 26th article stated that "With the Imperial Russian throne are indivisible the Kingdom of Poland and Grand Principality of Finland". Relations with the Grand Principality of Finland were also regulated by the 2nd article, "The Grand Principality of Finland, constituted an indivisible part of the Russian state, in its internal affairs governed by special regulations at the base of special laws", and by the law of 10 June 1910. Between 1744 and 1867, the empire also controlled Russian America. With the exception of this territorymodern-day Alaskathe Russian Empire was a contiguous mass of land spanning Europe and Asia. In this it differed from contemporary colonial-style empires. The result of this was that, while the British and French colonial empire, French empires declined in the 20th century, a large portion of the Russian Empire's territory remained together, first within the
Soviet Union The Soviet Union,. officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. (USSR),. was a that spanned during its existence from 1922 to 1991. It was nominally a of multiple national ; in practice and were highly until its final years. The ...
, and after 1991 in the still-smaller Russia, Russian Federation. Furthermore, the empire at times controlled concession territories, notably the Kwantung Leased Territory and the Chinese Eastern Railway, both conceded by Qing China, as well as a concession in Tianjin. See for these periods of extraterritorial control the empire of Japan–Russian Empire relations. In 1815, Dr. Schäffer, a Russian entrepreneur, went to Kauai and negotiated a treaty of protection with the island's governor Kaumualii, vassal of King Kamehameha I of Hawaii, but the Russian tsar refused to ratify the treaty. See also Orthodox Church in Hawaii and Russian Fort Elizabeth. In 1889, a Russian adventurer, Nikolay Ivanovitch Achinov, tried to establish a Russian colony in Africa, Sagallo, situated on the Gulf of Tadjoura in present-day Djibouti. However this attempt angered the French, who dispatched two gunboats against the colony. After a brief resistance, the colony surrendered and the Russian settlers were deported to Odessa.


Government and administration

From its initial creation until the 1905 Revolution, the Russian Empire was controlled by its tsar/emperor as an absolute monarch, under a system of tsarist autocracy. After the Revolution of 1905, Russia developed a new type of government, which became difficult to categorize. In the Almanach de Gotha for 1910, Russia was described as "a constitutional monarchy under an Tsarist autocracy, autocratic Tsar". This contradiction in terms demonstrated the difficulty of precisely defining the system, transitional and ''sui generis'', established in the Russian Empire after October 1905. Before this date, the fundamental laws of Russia described the power of the emperor as "autocratic and absolute monarchy, unlimited". After October 1905, while the imperial style was still "Emperor and Autocrat of All the Russias", the Russian Constitution of 1906, fundamental laws were changed by removing the word ''unlimited''. While the emperor retained many of his old prerogatives, including an absolute veto over all legislation, he equally agreed to the establishment of an elected parliament, without whose consent no laws were to be enacted in Russia. Not that the regime in Russia had become in any true sense constitutional, far less parliamentary. But the "unlimited autocracy" had given way to a "self-limited autocracy". Whether this autocracy was to be permanently limited by the new changes, or only at the continuing discretion of the autocrat, became a subject of heated Coup of June 1907, controversy between conflicting parties in the state. Provisionally, then, the Russian governmental system may perhaps be best defined as "a limited monarchy under an autocratic emperor". Conservatism was the ideology of most of the Russian leadership, albeit with some reformist activities from time to time. The structure of conservative thought was based upon anti-rationalism of the intellectuals, religiosity rooted in the Russian Orthodox Church, traditionalism rooted in the landed estates worked by serfs, and militarism rooted in the army officer corps. Regarding irrationality, Russia avoided the full force of the European Enlightenment, which gave priority to rationalism, preferring the romanticism of an idealized nation state that reflected the beliefs, values, and behavior of the distinctive people. The distinctly liberal notion of "progress" was replaced by a conservative notion of modernization based on the incorporation of modern technology to serve the established system. The promise of modernization in the service of autocracy frightened the socialist intellectual Alexander Herzen, who warned of a Russia governed by "Genghis Khan with a telegraph".


Tsar/Emperor

Peter the Great changed his title from ''
tsar , by Ivan Makarov Tsar ( or ), also spelled ''czar'', ''tzar'', or ''csar'', is a Royal and noble ranks, title used to designate East and South Slavic monarch A monarch is a head of stateWebster's II New College DictionarMonarch Houghton Mi ...

tsar
'' in 1721, when he was declared Emperor of all Russia. While later rulers did not discard the new title, the ruler of Russia was commonly known as tsar or tsaritsa until the imperial system was abolished during the
February Revolution The February Revolution ( rus, Февра́льская револю́ция, p=fʲɪvˈralʲskəjə rʲɪvɐˈlʲutsɨjə, tr. ), known in Soviet historiography Soviet historiography is the methodology of history History (from Greek , ' ...
of 1917. Prior to the issuance of the October Manifesto, the tsar ruled as an absolute monarch, subject to only two limitations on his authority, both of which were intended to protect the existing system: the Emperor and his consort must both belong to the
Russian Orthodox Church , native_name_lang = ru , image = Moscow July 2011-7a.jpg , imagewidth = , alt = , caption = Cathedral of Christ the Saviour The Cathedral of Christ the Saviour ( rus, Храм Хр ...

Russian Orthodox Church
, and he must obey the (Pauline Laws) of succession established by Paul I of Russia, Paul I. Beyond this, the power of the Russian autocrat was virtually limitless. On 17 October 1905, the situation changed: the ruler voluntarily limited his legislative power by decreeing that no measure was to become law without the consent of the State Duma of the Russian Empire, Imperial Duma, a freely elected national assembly established by the Russian Constitution of 1906, Organic Law issued on 28 April 1906. However, he retained the right to disband the newly established Duma, and he exercised this right more than once. He also retained an absolute veto over all legislation, and only he could initiate any changes to the Organic Law itself. His ministers were responsible solely to him, and not to the Duma or any other authority, which could question but not remove them. Thus, while the tsar's personal powers were limited in scope after 28 April 1906, they remained formidable.


Imperial Council

Under Russia's revised Fundamental Law of 20 February 1906, the Council of the Empire was associated with the Duma as a legislative Upper House; from this time the legislative power was exercised normally by the Emperor only in concert with the two chambers. The Council of the Empire, or Imperial Council, as reconstituted for this purpose, consisted of 196 members, of whom 98 were nominated by the emperor, while 98 were elective. The ministers, also nominated, were ''ex officio'' members. Of the elected members, 3 were returned by the "black" clergy (the monks), 3 by the "white" clergy (secular), 18 by the corporations of nobles, 6 by the academy of sciences and the universities, 6 by the chambers of commerce, 6 by the industrial councils, 34 by local governmental zemstvos, 16 by local governments having no zemstvos, and 6 by Poland. As a legislative body the powers of the council were coordinate with those of the Duma; in practice, however, it has seldom if ever initiated legislation.


State Duma

The Duma of the Empire or Imperial Duma (''Gosudarstvennaya Duma''), which formed the lower house of the Russian parliament, consisted (since the ''ukaz'' of 2 June 1907) of 442 members, elected by an exceedingly complicated process. The membership was manipulated as to secure an overwhelming majority of the wealthy (especially the landed classes) and also for the representatives of the Russian peoples at the expense of the subject nations. Each province of the Empire, except Central Asia, returned a certain number of members; added to which were those returned by several large cities. The members of the Duma were chosen by electoral colleges and these, in their turn, were elected by assemblies of the three classes: landed proprietors, citizens, and peasants. In these assemblies the wealthiest proprietors sat in person while the lesser proprietors were represented by delegates. The urban population was divided into two categories according to taxable wealth and elected delegates directly to the college of the Guberniya, governorates. The peasants were represented by delegates selected by the regional subdivisions called volosts. Workmen were treated in a special manner, with every industrial concern employing fifty hands electing one or more delegates to the electoral college. In the college itself, the voting for the Duma was by secret ballot and a simple majority carried the day. Since the majority consisted of conservative elements (the landowners and urban delegates), the progressives had little chance of representation at all, save for the curious provision that one member at least in each government was to be chosen from each of the five classes represented in the college. That the Duma had any radical elements was mainly due to the peculiar franchise enjoyed by the seven largest towns —
Saint Petersburg Saint Petersburg ( rus, links=no, Санкт-Петербург, a=Ru-Sankt Peterburg Leningrad Petrograd Piter.ogg, r=Sankt-Peterburg, p=ˈsankt pʲɪtʲɪrˈburk), formerly known as Petrograd (1914–1924) and later Leningrad (1924–1991), ...

Saint Petersburg
, Moscow, Kyiv, Odessa, Riga, and the Polish cities of Warsaw and Łódź. These elected their delegates to the Duma directly, and though their votes were divided (on the basis of taxable property) in such a way as to give the advantage to wealth, each returned the same number of delegates.


Council of Ministers

In 1905, a Council of Ministers (''Sovyet Ministrov'') was created, under a ''minister president'', the first appearance of a prime minister in Russia. This council consisted of all the ministers and of the heads of other principal departments. The ministries were as follows: * Ministry of the Imperial Court * Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Empire, Ministry of Foreign Affairs; * Ministry of War (Russia), Ministry of War; * Ministry of the Navy; * Ministry of Finance of the Russian Empire, Ministry of Finance; * Ministry of Commerce and Industry (created in 1905); * Ministry of Internal Affairs (Russia), Ministry of Internal Affairs (including police, health, censorship and press, posts and telegraphs, foreign religions, statistics); * Ministry of Agriculture and State Assets; * Ministry of ways of Communications; * List of Justice Ministers of Imperial Russia, Ministry of Justice; * List of Ministers of National Enlightenment, Ministry of National Enlightenment.


Most Holy Synod

The Most Holy Synod (established in 1721) was the supreme organ of government of the Orthodox Church in Russia. It was presided over by a lay procurator, representing the Emperor, and consisted of the three metropolitans of metropolitan of Moscow, Moscow, Saint Petersburg, and Kyiv, the archbishop of Georgia (country), Georgia, and a number of bishops sitting in rotation.


Senate

The Senate (''Pravitelstvuyushchi Senat'', i.e. directing or governing senate), originally established during the Government reform of Peter the Great, government reform of Peter I, consisted of members nominated by the emperor. Its wide variety of functions were carried out by the different departments into which it was divided. It was the supreme court of cassation; an audit office; a high court of justice for all political offences; and one of its departments fulfilled the functions of a heralds' college. It also had supreme jurisdiction in all disputes arising out of the administration of the Empire, notably in differences between representatives of the central power and the elected organs of local self-government. Lastly, it promulgated new laws, a function which theoretically gave it a power akin to that of the Supreme Court of the United States, of rejecting measures not in accordance with fundamental laws.


Administrative divisions

As of 1914, Russia was divided into 81 governorates (''guberniyas''), 20 ''oblasts'', and 1 ''okrug''. Vassals and protectorates of the Russian Empire included the Emirate of Bukhara, the Khanate of Khiva, and, after 1914, Tuva (Uriankhai). Of these, 11 Governorates, 17 oblasts, and 1 okrug (Sakhalin) belonged to Asian Russia. Of the rest, 8 Governorates were in Finland and 10 in Poland. European Russia thus embraced 59 governorates and 1 oblast (that of the Don). The Don Oblast was under the direct jurisdiction of the ministry of war; the rest each had a governor and deputy-governor, the latter presiding over the administrative council. In addition, there were governors-general, generally placed over several governorates and armed with more extensive powers, usually including the command of the troops within the limits of their jurisdiction. In 1906, there were governors-general in Finland, Warsaw, Vilna, Kyiv, Moscow, and Riga. The larger cities (Saint Petersburg, Moscow, Odessa, Sevastopol, Kerch, Mykolaiv, Nikolayev, and Rostov-on-Don, Rostov) had administrative systems of their own, independent of the governorates; in these the chief of police acted as governor.


Judicial system

The judicial system of the Russian Empire was established by the Judicial reform of Alexander II, statute of 20 November 1864 of Alexander II of Russia, Alexander II. This system – based partly on English law, English and Law of France, French law – was predicated on the separation of judicial and administrative functions, the independence of the judges and courts, public trials and oral procedure, and the equality of all classes before the law. Moreover, a democratic element was introduced by the adoption of the Jury trial, jury system and the election of judges. This system was disliked by the bureaucracy, due to its putting the administration of justice outside of the executive sphere. During the latter years of Alexander II and the reign of Alexander III, power that had been given was gradually taken back, and that take back was fully reversed by the third Duma after the Russian Revolution of 1905, 1905 Revolution. The system established by the law of 1864 had two wholly separate tribunals, each having their own court of appeal, courts of appeal and coming in contact with each other only in the Senate, which acted as the supreme court of cassation. The first tribunal, based on the English model, were the courts of the elected justices of the peace (Russia), justices of the peace, with jurisdiction over petty causes, whether civil or criminal; the second, based on the French model, were the ordinary tribunals of nominated judges, sitting with or without a jury to hear important cases.


Local administration

Alongside the local organs of the central government in Russia there are three classes of local elected bodies charged with administrative functions: * the peasant assemblies in the ''mir (social), mirs'' and the ''volosts''; * the ''zemstvos'' in the 34 governorates of Russia; * the ''Duma#Municipal dumas, municipal dumas''.


Municipal dumas

Since 1870, the municipalities in European Russia had institutions like those of the zemstvos. All owners of houses, tax-paying merchants, artisans, and workmen were enrolled on lists, in descending order according to their assessed wealth. The total valuation was then divided into three equal parts, representing three groups of electors very unequal in number, each of which would elect an equal number of delegates to the municipal duma. The executive was in the hands of an elected mayor and an ''wikt:uprava, uprava'', which consisted of several members elected by the municipal duma. Under Alexander III of Russia, Alexander III, however, by-laws promulgated in 1892 and 1894, the municipal dumas were subordinated to the governors in the same way as the zemstvos. In 1894, municipal institutions, with still more restricted powers, were granted to several towns in Siberia, and in 1895 to some in the Caucasus.


Baltic provinces

The formerly Swedish-controlled Baltic provinces (Courland, Swedish Livonia, Livonia, and Swedish Estonia, Estonia) were incorporated into the Russian Empire after the defeat of Sweden in the
Great Northern War The Great Northern War (1700–1721) was a conflict in which a coalition led by the Tsardom of Russia The Tsardom of Russia or Tsardom of Rus' (russian: Русское царство, ''Russkoye tsarstvo''; later changed to: , ''Rossiyskoy ...

Great Northern War
. Under the
Treaty of Nystad The Treaty of Nystad (russian: Ништадтский мир; fi, Uudenkaupungin rauha; sv, Freden i Nystad; et, Uusikaupunki rahu) was the last peace treaty of the Great Northern War of 1700–1721. It was concluded between the Tsardom of R ...

Treaty of Nystad
of 1721, the Baltic German nobility retained considerable powers of self-government and numerous privileges in matters affecting education, police, and the local administration of justice. After 167 years of German language administration and education, in 1888 and 1889 laws were passed transferring administration of the police and manorial justice from Baltic German control to officials of the central government. About the same time, a process of Russification was being carried out in the same provinces, in all departments of administration, in the higher schools, and in the Imperial University of Dorpat, the name of which was altered to Tartu, Yuriev. In 1893, district committees for the management of the peasants' affairs, similar to those in purely Russian governments, were introduced into this part of the Empire.


Economy


Mining and heavy industry


Infrastructure


Railways

After 1860, the planning and building of the railway network had far-reaching effects on the economy, culture, and ordinary life of Russia. The central authorities and the imperial elite made most of the key decisions, but local elites made demands for rail linkages. Local nobles, merchants, and entrepreneurs imagined a future of promoting their regional interests, from "locality" to "empire". Often they had to compete with other cities. By envisioning their own role in a rail network they came to understand how important they were to the empire's economy. During the 1880s, the Russian army built two major railway lines in Central Asia. The Transcaucasus Railway connected the city of Batum on the
Black Sea , with the skyline of Batumi Batumi (; ka, ბათუმი ) is the second largest city of Georgia Georgia usually refers to: * Georgia (country) Georgia ( ka, საქართველო; ''Sakartvelo''; ) is a country locat ...

Black Sea
and the oil center of Baku on the
Caspian Sea The Caspian Sea (also known as Mazandaran Sea, Hyrcanian Ocean, or Khazar Sea), tk, Hazar deňzi, az, Xəzər Dənizi, russian: Каспийское море, script=Latn, fa, دریای مازندران، دریای خزر, script=Latn, tly, ...

Caspian Sea
. The Trans-Caspian Railway began at Krasnovodsk on the Caspian Sea and reached Bukhara, Samarkand, and Tashkent. Both lines served the commercial and strategic needs of the empire, and facilitated migration.


Religion

The Russian Empire's state religion was Eastern Orthodox Church, Orthodox Christianity. The Emperor was not allowed to "profess any faith other than the Orthodox" (Article 62 of the 1906 Russian Constitution of 1906, Fundamental Laws) and was deemed "the Supreme Defender and Guardian of the dogmas of the predominant Faith and is the Keeper of the purity of the Faith and all good order within the Holy Church" (Article 64 ''ex supra''). Although he made and annulled all senior ecclesiastical appointments, he did not settle questions of dogma or church teaching. The principal ecclesiastical authority of the Russian Orthodox Church, Russian Church—which extended its jurisdiction over the entire territory of the Empire, including the ex-Kingdom of Kartli-Kakheti—was the Most Holy Synod, the civilian Over Procurator of the Holy Synod being one of the council of ministers with wide ''de facto'' powers in ecclesiastical matters. The ecclesiastical heads of the national Russian Orthodox Church consisted of three Metropolitan bishop, metropolitans (Saint Petersburg, Moscow, Kyiv), fourteen archbishops and fifty bishops, all drawn from the ranks of the monastic (celibate) clergy. The parochialism, parochial clergy had to be married when appointed, but if left widowers were not allowed to marry again; this rule continues to apply today.


Religious policy

Religious status changed based on the policies of the Tsars, and religious toleration and lack thereof was based substantially on social class and geography during the expansion of the empire. All non-Orthodox religions were formally forbidden from proselytizing within the empire. In a policy influenced by Catherine II but solidified in the 19th century, Tsarist Russia exhibited increasing "confessionalization" pursuing top-down reorganization of the empire's faiths, also referred to as the "confessional state". The tsarist administration sought to arrange "orthodoxies" within Islam, Buddhism, and the Protestant faiths, which was performed by creating spiritual assemblies (in the case of Islam, Judaism, and Lutheranism), banning and declaring bishoprics (in the case of Catholicism), and arbitrating doctrinal disputes. When the state lacked resources to provide a secular bureaucracy across its entire territory, guided 'reformation' of faiths provided elements of social control. After Catherine II annexed eastern Crown of the Kingdom of Poland, Poland in the Partitions of Poland, Polish Partitions, there were restrictions placed against Jews known as the Pale of Settlement, an area of Tsarist Russia inside which Jews were authorized to settle, and outside of which were deprived of various rights such as freedom of movement or commerce. Other oppressive acts included the May Laws, which further restricted Jewish settlements as well as limiting the types of professions available, and the expulsion of Jews from Kiev in 1886 and Moscow in 1891 during Alexander III of Russia, Tsar Alexander III's reign. The overall anti-Jewish policy of the Russian Empire led to significant sustained emigration. Islam had a "sheltered but precarious" place in the Russian Empire. Initially, sporadic forced conversions were demanded against Muslims in the early Russian Empire. In the 18th century, Catherine II issued an edict of toleration that gave legal status to Islam and allowed Muslims to fulfill religious obligations. Catherine also established the Orenburg Muslim Spiritual Assembly, which had a degree of imperial jurisdiction over the organization of Islamic practice in the country. As the Russian Empire expanded, tsarist administrators found it expedient to draw on existing Islamic religious institutions that were already in place. However, in the 19th century, policies became much more oppressive during the Russo-Turkish Wars, and the Russian Empire perpetrated persecutions such as the Circassian genocide. Many groups of Muslims such as Crimean Tatars were forced to emigrate to the Ottoman Empire following the Russian defeat in the Crimean War. During the latter portion of the 19th century, the status of Islam in the Russian Empire became associated with the tsarist regime's ideological principles of Orthodoxy, Autocracy, and Nationality, Official Nationality requiring Russian Orthodoxy. Nonetheless, in certain areas Islamic institutions were developed and at times encouraged, including the continuing Orenburg Assembly, but provided with a lower status. Despite the predominance of Orthodoxy, several Christian denominations were freely professed. Lutherans were particularly tolerated with the invited settlement of Volga Germans and the presence of Baltic German nobility. During the reign of Catherine II, the Suppression of the Society of Jesus, Jesuit suppression was not promulgated, so Jesuits survived in Russian Empire, and this "Russian Society" played a role in re-establishing the Jesuits in the west. Overall, Catholicism was strictly controlled during Catherine II's reign, which was considered an epoch of relative tolerance for Catholicism. Catholics were distrusted by the Russian Empire as elements of Polish nationalism, a perception which especially increased following the January Uprising. Tsarist religious policy was focused on punishing Orthodox dissenters, such as Eastern Catholic Churches, uniates and sectarians. Old Believers were seen as dangerous elements and persecuted heavily. Various minor sects such as Spiritual Christianity, Spiritual Christians and Molokan were banished in internal exile to Transcaucasia and Central Asia, with some further emigrating to the Americas. Doukhobors came to settle primarily in Canada. In 1905, Tsar Nicholas II issued a religious Edict of toleration, toleration edict that gave legal status to non-Orthodox religions. This created a "Golden Age of Old Faith" for the previously persecuted Old Believers until the emergence of the Soviet Union. In the early 20th century, some of the restrictions of the Pale of Settlement were reversed, though were not formally abolished until the February Revolution.


Imperial Census of 1897

According to returns published in 1905, based on the Russian Empire Census, Russian Imperial Census of 1897, adherents of the different religious communities in the whole of the Russian empire numbered approximately as follows.


Military

The military of the Russian Empire consisted of the Imperial Russian Army and the Imperial Russian Navy. The poor performance during the
Crimean War The Crimean War, , was a military conflict fought from October 1853 to February 1856 in which Russian Empire, Russia lost to an alliance of Second French Empire, France, the Ottoman Empire, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, ...
, 1853–56, caused great soul-searching and resulted in proposals for reform. However, the Russian forces fell further behind the technology, training, and organization of the German, French, and particularly the British militaries. The army performed poorly in
World War I World War I, often abbreviated as WWI or WW1, also known as the First World War or the Great War, was a global war A world war is "a war engaged in by all or most of the principal nations of the world". The term is usually reserved for ...

World War I
and became a center of unrest and revolutionary activity. The events of the
February Revolution The February Revolution ( rus, Февра́льская револю́ция, p=fʲɪvˈralʲskəjə rʲɪvɐˈlʲutsɨjə, tr. ), known in Soviet historiography Soviet historiography is the methodology of history History (from Greek , ' ...
and the fierce political struggles inside army units led to irreversible disintegration.


Society

The Russian Empire was predominantly a rural society spread over vast spaces. In 1913, 80% of the people were peasants. Soviet historiography proclaimed that the Russian Empire of the 19th century was characterized by systemic crisis, which impoverished the workers and peasants and culminated in the revolutions of the early 20th century. Recent research by Russian scholars disputes this interpretation. Boris Mironov (historian), Mironov assesses the effects of the reforms of latter 19th-century, especially in terms of the 1861 emancipation of the serfs, agricultural output trends, various standard of living indicators, and taxation of peasants. He argues that those reforms brought about measurable improvements in social welfare. More generally, he finds that the well-being of the Russian people declined during most of the 18th century, but increased slowly from the end of the 18th century to 1914.


Estates

Subjects of the Russian Empire were segregated into ''sosloviyes'', or social estates (classes) such as nobility (''dvoryanstvo''), clergy, merchants, cossacks, and peasants. Native people of the Caucasus, non-ethnic Russian areas such as History of Tatarstan, Tatarstan, History of Bashkortostan, Bashkortostan, Siberia, and Central Asia were officially registered as a category called ''inorodtsy'' (non-Slavic, literally: "people of another origin"). A majority of the population, 81.6%, belonged to the peasant order. The other classes were the nobility, 0.6%; clergy, 0.1%; the burghers and merchants, 9.3%; and military, 6.1%. More than 88 million Russians were peasants, some of whom were former serfs (10,447,149 males in 1858) – the remainder being "state peasants" (9,194,891 males in 1858, exclusive of the Archangel governorate) and "domain peasants" (842,740 males the same year).


Serfdom

The serfdom that had developed in Russia in the 16th century, and had become enshrined in law in 1649, was Emancipation reform of 1861, abolished in 1861.Jerome Blum, ''Lord and Peasant in Russia from the Ninth to the Nineteenth Century'' (1961) Household servants or dependents attached to personal service were merely set free, while the landed peasants received their houses and orchards, and allotments of arable land. These allotments were given over to the rural commune, the ''mir (social), mir'', which was responsible for the payment of taxes for the allotments. For these allotments the peasants had to pay a fixed rent, which could be fulfilled by personal labour. The allotments could be redeemed by peasants with the help of the Crown, and then they were freed from all obligations to the landlord. The Crown paid the landlord and the peasants had to repay the Crown, for forty-nine years at 6% interest. The financial redemption to the landlord was not calculated on the value of the allotments, but was considered as compensation for the loss of the compulsory labour of the serfs. Many proprietors contrived to curtail the allotments that the peasants had occupied under serfdom, and frequently deprived them of precisely that land of which they were most in need: pasture lands around their houses. The result was to compel the peasants to rent land from their former masters.David Moon, ''The Russian Peasantry 1600–1930: The World the Peasants Made'' (1999)


Peasants

The former serfs became peasants, joining the millions of farmers who already had peasant status. Most peasants lived in tens of thousands of small villages under a highly patriarchal system. Hundreds of thousands moved to cities to work in factories, but they typically retained their village connections. After Emancipation reform, one-quarter of peasants received allotments of only per male, and one-half received less than ; the normal size of the allotment necessary for the subsistence of a family under the three-fields system is estimated at . This land was of necessity rented from the landlords. The aggregate value of the redemption and land taxes often reached 185 to 275% of the normal rental value of the allotments, not to speak of taxes for recruiting purposes, the church, roads, local administration, and so on, chiefly levied on the peasants. This burden increased every year; consequently, one-fifth of the inhabitants left their houses and cattle disappeared. Every year more than half the adult males (in some districts three-quarters of the men and one-third of the women) quit their homes and wandered throughout Russia in search of work. In the governments of the Black Earth Area the state of matters was hardly better. Many peasants took "gratuitous allotments", whose amount was about one-eighth of the normal allotments. The average allotment in Kherson was only , and for allotments from the peasants paid 5 to 10 rubles in redemption tax. The state peasants were better off; but they, too, were emigrating in masses. It was only in the steppe that the situation was more hopeful. In Ukraine, where the allotments were personal (the mir existing only among state peasants), the state of affairs was not better, on account of high redemption taxes. In the western provinces, where the land was more cheaply valued and the allotments somewhat increased after the January Uprising, Polish insurrection, the situation was better. Finally, in the Baltic provinces nearly all the land belonged to the Baltic Germans, German landlords, who either farmed the land themselves, with hired laborers, or let it in small farms. Only one-quarter of the peasants were farmers; the remainder were mere laborers.Christine D. Worobec, ''Peasant Russia: family and community in the post-emancipation period'' (1991).


Landowners

The situation of the former serf-proprietors was also unsatisfactory. Accustomed to the use of compulsory labor, they failed to adapt to the new conditions. The millions of rubles of redemption money received from the crown was spent without any real or lasting agricultural improvements having been effected. The forests were sold, and the only prosperous landlords were those who exacted rack-rents for the land allotted to peasants. There was an increase of wealth among the few, but along with this a general impoverishment of the mass of the people. Added to this, the peculiar institution of the mir—framed on the principle of community ownership and occupation of the land—the overall effect was not encouraging of individual effort. During the years 1861 to 1892 the land owned by the nobles decreased 30%, or from ; during the following four years an additional were sold; and since then the sales went on at an accelerated rate, until in 1903 alone close to passed out of their hands. On the other hand, since 1861, and more especially since 1882, when the Peasant Land Bank was founded for making advances to peasants who were desirous of purchasing land, the former serfs, or rather their descendants, had between 1883 and 1904 bought about from their former masters. In November 1906, however, the emperor Nicholas II promulgated a provisional order permitting the peasants to become freeholders of allotments made at the time of emancipation, all redemption dues being remitted. This measure, which was endorsed by the third Duma in an act passed on 21 December 1908, was calculated to have far-reaching and profound effects on the rural economy of Russia. Thirteen years previously the government had endeavored to secure greater fixity and permanence of tenure by providing that at least twelve years must elapse between every two redistributions of the land belonging to a mir amongst those entitled to share in it. The order of November 1906 provided that the open field system, various strips of land held by each peasant should be merged into a single holding; the Duma, however, on the advice of the government, left its implementation to the future, regarding it as an ideal that could only gradually be realized.


Media

Censorship was heavy-handed until the reign of Alexander II, but it never went away. Newspapers were strictly limited in what they could publish, and intellectuals favored literary magazines for their publishing outlets. Fyodor Dostoyevsky, for example, ridiculed the St. Petersburg newspapers, such as ''Golos'' and ''Peterburgskii Listok'', which he accused of publishing trifles and distracting readers from the pressing social concerns of contemporary Russia through their obsession with spectacle and European popular culture.


Education

Educational standards were very low in the Russian Empire. By 1800, the level of literacy among male peasants ranged from 1 to 12 percent and from 20 to 25 percent for urban men. Literacy among women was very low. Literacy rates were highest for the nobility (84 to 87 percent), merchants (over 75 percent), then the workers and peasants. Serfs were the least literate. In every group, women were far less literate than men. By contrast in Western Europe, urban men had about a 50 percent literacy rate. The Orthodox hierarchy was suspicious of education – they saw no religious need for literacy whatsoever. Peasants had no use for literacy, and people who did—such as artisans, businessmen, and professionals—were few in number. As late as 1851, only 8% of Russians lived in cities. The accession in 1801 of Alexander I (1801–1825) was widely welcomed as an opening to fresh liberal ideas from the European Enlightenment. Many reforms were promised, but few were actually carried out before 1820 when the emperor turned his attention to foreign affairs and personal religion and ignored reform issues. In sharp contrast to Western Europe, the entire empire had a very small bureaucracy – about 17,000 public officials, most of whom lived in two of the largest cities, Moscow and Saint Petersburg. Modernization of government required much larger numbers; but that, in turn, required an educational system that could provide suitable training. Russia lacked that, and for university education, young men went to Western Europe. The army and the church had their own training programs, narrowly focused on their particular needs. The most important successful reform under Alexander I was the creation of a national system of education. The Ministry of Education was established in 1802, and the country was divided into six educational regions. The long-term plan was for a university in every region, a secondary school in every major city, upgraded primary schools, and – serving the largest number of students – a parish school for every two parishes. By 1825, the national government operated six universities, forty-eight secondary state schools, and 337 improved primary schools. Highly qualified teachers arrived from France, fleeing the revolution there. Exiled Jesuits set up elite boarding schools until their order was expelled in 1815. At the highest level, universities were based on the German model—in Kazan, Kharkov, Saint Petersburg Imperial University, St. Petersburg, Vilna and Dorpat—while the relatively young Imperial Moscow University was expanded. The higher forms of education were reserved for a very small elite, with only a few hundred students at the universities by 1825 and 5500 in the secondary schools. There were no schools open to girls. Most rich families still depended on private tutors. Tsar Nicholas I was a reactionary who wanted to neutralize foreign ideas, especially those he ridiculed as "pseudo-knowledge". Nevertheless, his minister of education, Sergey Uvarov, at the university level promoted more academic freedom for the faculty, who were under suspicion by reactionary church officials. Uvarov raised academic standards, improved facilities, and opened the admission doors a bit wider. Nicholas tolerated Uvarov's achievements until 1848, then reversed his innovations. For the rest of the century, the national government continued to focus on universities, and generally ignored elementary and secondary educational needs. By 1900 there were 17,000 university students, and over 30,000 were enrolled in specialized technical institutes. The students were conspicuous in Moscow and Saint Petersburg as a political force typically at the forefront of demonstrations and disturbances.Hans Rogger, ''Russia in the Age of Modernisation and Revolution 1881 – 1917 '' (1983) p 126. The majority of tertiary institutions in the empire used Russian, while some used other languages but later underwent Russification.Strauss, Johann. "Language and power in the late Ottoman Empire" (Chapter 7). In: Murphey, Rhoads (editor). ''Imperial Lineages and Legacies in the Eastern Mediterranean: Recording the Imprint of Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman Rule'' (Volume 18 of Birmingham Byzantine and Ottoman Studies). Routledge, 7 July 2016. , 9781317118442. Google Books]
PT196
Other educational institutions in the empire included the Nersisian School in Tiflis (Tbilisi).


See also

* Expansion of Russia (1500–1800) * Foreign policy of the Russian Empire * Industrialization in the Russian Empire * List of Russian monarchs * Military history of Russia * Panjdeh incident, Russian conquest of Afghanistan * Russian conquest of the Caucasus


Notes


References

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russian_war_crimes


Further reading


Surveys

* Ascher, Abraham. ''Russia: A Short History'' (2011
excerpt and text search
* Bushkovitch, Paul. ''A Concise History of Russia'' (2011
excerpt and text search
* * Hosking, Geoffrey. ''Russia and the Russians: A History'' (2nd ed. 2011) * * Kamenskii, Aleksandr B. ''The Russian Empire in the Eighteenth Century: Searching for a Place in the World'' (1997) . xii. 307 pp. A synthesis of much Western and Russian scholarship. * Lieven, Dominic, ed. ''The Cambridge History of Russia: Volume 2, Imperial Russia, 1689–1917'' (2015) * Lieven, Dominic. ''Empire; The Russian Empire and Its Rivals'' (Yale UP, 2001) * Lincoln, W. Bruce. ''The Romanovs: Autocrats of All the Russias'' (1983
excerpt and text search
sweeping narrative history * *McKenzie, David & Michael W. Curran. ''A History of Russia, the Soviet Union, and Beyond''. 6th ed. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Publishing, 2001. . *Moss, Walter G. ''A History of Russia''. Vol. 1: ''To 1917''. 2d ed. Anthem Press, 2002. * Pares, Bernard. ''A history of Russia'' (1947) pp 221–537, by a famous historia
online free to borrow
* Perrie, Maureen, et al. ''The Cambridge History of Russia''. (3 vol. Cambridge University Press, 2006)
excerpt and text search
* Riasanovsky, Nicholas V. and Mark D. Steinberg. ''A History of Russia''. 7th ed. New York: Oxford University Press, 2004, 800 pages
online 4th edition free to borrow
* Ziegler; Charles E. ''The History of Russia'' (Greenwood Press, 1999
online edition


Geography, topical maps

* Barnes, Ian. ''Restless Empire: A Historical Atlas of Russia'' (2015), copies of historic maps * Catchpole, Brian. ''A Map History of Russia'' (Heinemann Educational Publishers, 1974), new topical maps. * Channon, John, and Robert Hudson. ''The Penguin historical atlas of Russia'' (Viking, 1995), new topical maps. * Chew, Allen F. ''An atlas of Russian history: eleven centuries of changing borders'' (Yale UP, 1970), new topical maps. * Gilbert, Martin. ''Atlas of Russian history'' (Oxford UP, 1993), new topical maps. * Parker, William Henry. ''An historical geography of Russia'' (Aldine, 1968).


1801–1917

*Manning, Roberta. ''The Crisis of the Old Order in Russia: Gentry and Government''. Princeton University Press, 1982. * Pares, Bernard. '' The Fall Of The Russian Monarchy'' (1939) pp 94–143
Online
* Pipes, Richard. ''Russia under the Old Regime'' (2nd ed. 1997) * Seton-Watson, Hugh. ''The Russian empire 1801–1917'' (1967
online
* *


Military and foreign relations

* Adams, Michael. ''Napoleon and Russia'' (2006). * * * Fuller, William C. ''Strategy and Power in Russia 1600–1914'' (1998
excerpts
military strategy * Gatrell, Peter. "Tsarist Russia at War: The View from Above, 1914 – February 1917." ''Journal of Modern History'' 87#3 (2015): 668–700. * Jelavich, Barbara. ''St. Petersburg and Moscow: Tsarist and Soviet Foreign Policy, 1814–1974'' (1974
online
* Lieven, D.C.B. ''Russia and the Origins of the First World War'' (1983). * Lieven, Dominic. ''Russia Against Napoleon: The True Story of the Campaigns of War and Peace'' (2011). * LeDonne, John P. ''The Russian empire and the world, 1700–1917: The geopolitics of expansion and containment'' (1997). * McMeekin, Sean. ''The Russian Origins of the First World War'' (2011). * Neumann, Iver B. "Russia as a great power, 1815–2007." ''Journal of International Relations and Development'' 11#2 (2008): 128–151
online
* Saul, Norman E. ''Historical Dictionary of Russian and Soviet Foreign Policy'' (2014
excerpt and text search
* Seton-Watson, Hugh. ''The Russian Empire 1801–1917'' (1967) pp 41–68, 83–182, 280–331, 430–60, 567–97, 677–97. * Stone, David. ''A Military History of Russia: From Ivan the Terrible to the War in Chechnya'
excerpts


Economic, social and ethnic history

* Christian, David. ''A History of Russia, Central Asia and Mongolia''. Vol. 1: ''Inner Eurasia from Prehistory to the Mongol Empire''. (Blackwell, 1998). . * De Madariaga, Isabel. ''Russia in the Age of Catherine the Great'' (2002), comprehensive topical survey * * Etkind, Alexander. ''Internal Colonization: Russia's Imperial Experience'' (Polity Press, 2011) 289 pages; discussion of serfdom, the peasant commune, etc. * Franklin, Simon, and Bowers, Katherine (eds). ''Information and Empire: Mechanisms of Communication in Russia, 1600–1850'' (Open Book Publishers, 2017
available to read in full online
* Freeze, Gregory L. ''From Supplication to Revolution: A Documentary Social History of Imperial Russia'' (1988) * * Milward, Alan S. and S. B. Saul. ''The Development of the Economies of Continental Europe: 1850–1914'' (1977) pp 365–425 * Milward, Alan S. and S. B. Saul. ''The Economic Development of Continental Europe 1780–1870'' (2nd ed. 1979), 552pp * Boris Mironov (historian), Mironov, Boris N., and Ben Eklof. ''The Social History of Imperial Russia, 1700–1917'' (2 vol Westview Press, 2000
vol 1 onlinevol 2 online
* Mironov, Boris N. (2012) ''The Standard of Living and Revolutions in Imperial Russia, 1700–1917'' (2012
excerpt and text search
* Mironov, Boris N. (2010) "Wages and Prices in Imperial Russia, 1703–1913," ''Russian Review'' (Jan 2010) 69#1 pp 47–72, with 13 tables and 3 chart
online
* * * Stolberg, Eva-Maria. (2004) "The Siberian Frontier and Russia's Position in World History," ''Review: A Journal of the Fernand Braudel Center'' 27#3 pp 243–267 * Wirtschafter, Elise Kimerling. ''Russia's age of serfdom 1649–1861'' (2008).


Historiography and memory

* Burbank, Jane, and David L. Ransel, eds. ''Imperial Russia: new histories for the Empire'' (Indiana University Press, 1998) * Cracraft, James. ed. ''Major Problems in the History of Imperial Russia'' (1993) * Hellie, Richard. "The structure of modern Russian history: Toward a dynamic model." ''Russian History'' 4.1 (1977): 1–22
Online
* Lieven, Dominic. ''Empire: The Russian empire and its rivals'' (Yale UP, 2002), compares Russian with British, Habsburg & Ottoman empires
excerpt
* Kuzio, Taras. "Historiography and national identity among the Eastern Slavs: towards a new framework." ''National Identities'' (2001) 3#2 pp: 109–132. * Olson, Gust, and Aleksei I. Miller. "Between Local and Inter-Imperial: Russian Imperial History in Search of Scope and Paradigm." ''Kritika: Explorations in Russian and Eurasian History'' (2004) 5#1 pp: 7–26. * Sanders, Thomas, ed. ''Historiography of imperial Russia: The profession and writing of history in a multinational state'' (ME Sharpe, 1999) * Smith, Steve. "Writing the History of the Russian Revolution after the Fall of Communism." ''Europe‐Asia Studies'' (1994) 46#4 pp: 563–578. * Suny, Ronald Grigor. "Rehabilitating Tsarism: The Imperial Russian State and Its Historians. A Review Article" '' Comparative Studies in Society and History'' 31#1 (1989) pp. 168–17
online
* Suny, Ronald Grigor. "The empire strikes out: Imperial Russia,‘national’ identity, and theories of empire." in ''A state of nations: Empire and nation-making in the age of Lenin and Stalin'' ed. by Peter Holquist, Ronald Grigor Suny, and Terry Martin. (2001) pp: 23–66.


Primary sources

* Golder, Frank Alfred. ''Documents Of Russian History 1914–1917'' (1927), 680p
online
* Kennard, Howard Percy, and Netta Peacock, eds. ''The Russian Year-book: Volume 2 1912'' (London, 1912
full text in English


External links

*
The Empire that was Russia
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